As if WMATA hasn’t been in the news enough, today comes word that on December 10, 2009, a team of independent safety inspectors were nearly struck by a metro train at the Braddock Road Station. According to the Tri-State Oversight Committee, the inspectors “were forced to quickly scramble out of the way to avoid being struck.” Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The incident occurred shortly after Metro lifted a six-month ban on monitors accessing live subway tracks, and was only one of a long list of safety violations reported by the committee. A summary of the report by The Washington Post stated that “Metro’s safety training was inadequate and that the transit agency needed to take “immediate, short-term corrective action” to ensure worker safety.” The Post also reported that WMATA is taking action to correct the situation and will hold a safety session with multiple transit agencies.
Additionally, we hear that the Metro Board will hold public hearings (to take place before a Jan. 28 vote) on adding a 10 cent surcharge to Metro fares. The increase in fares (from March to June 2009) would be an attempt to cover a $40 million dollar shortfall and to prevent significant cuts to both metro and metrobus service.
Ugh! I’m not sure what’s worse. The fare increase or having to wait in the freezing cold for the bus even longer.