Bookmark this one for those rough Metro commutes, riders: a new website that tracks the rail and bus agency’s progress on more than 90 actions to address safety concerns issued by the Federal Transit Administration, which now oversees Metro, in June 2015.
It’s a lot to take in. So far, all 91 corrective actions remain “open,” meaning Metro hasn’t implemented them to the feds’ approval. The expected dates of completion for the actions stretch from this month to September 2019, spanning system-wide maintenance, fire and emergency preparedness, and information technology, among other categories. Many involve Metro’s rail operations control center, which coordinates communications and monitors performance throughout Metrorail (it was also linked to the Jan. 12 smoke incident).
“[Metro’s] Rail Operations Control Center lacks formal procedures, manuals, and checklists,” the FTA found. “[Metro] must establish procedural checklists for [ROCC] staff to implement [standard operating procedures].” This action is estimated to be done by February.
Another action on the list, expected to be completed soon: “[Metro] must review the workload and inspection territory assigned to track inspectors, and leverage non-track inspectors to perform watchman duties.” The FTA previously found that walking track inspection resources, vital to identifying infrastructure damage throughout Metrorail and thus preventing train derailments, had been cut in half.
The administration will update the corrective-action plan tracker bimonthly. It appears just two days before Paul Wiedefeld, a former Baltimore/Washington International Airport executive, is anticipated to take over from Jack Requa as Metro’s general manager/CEO.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery