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. Continue reading