Metro needs more federal funding for upgrades to its rail systems or it risks jeopardizing passenger safety, one Metro official told a congressional panel on Capitol Hill last month. Metro officials met with congressional members to discuss Metro’s upgrades in safety and training since the fatal 2009 train crash, which killed nine people and injured dozens more.
According to the Washington Post, the Metro officials told the panel that safety is its number one priority. Some congress members questioned Metro’s commitment given recent reports of train operators running red lights (detailed in an earlier blog post). A Metro representative responded by saying it is revising “training protocols, increasing field evaluations, stepping up supervision in the yards and issuing new standard operating procedures.”
Metro recently fired an employee who did not properly monitor the movement of track equipment. Despite protests from other track workers over the firing, Metro did not change its mind. The Metro spokesperson said it reflects a changing culture regarding safety.