Thursday, November 12, 2009

Between the Lines of a Metro Press Release

We managed to get our hands on an early draft of Tuesday's WMATA press release, including some deleted comments and questions by GM Catoe and Chairman Graham. Although not expressly stated, the release was ostensibly issued as a reaction to this Washington Post article.

Yet another reactive press release Joint statement by Metro Board Chairman Jim Graham and Metro General Manager John Catoe

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and its Board of Directors are committed to telling the public that they are committed to working with all safety "oversight" agencies that have jurisdiction over Metro and its increasingly decrepit operations. Regionally, that "oversight" comes from the Tri-State Oversight Committee what is this?/Catoe, basically a ghost organization with no teeth which was created out of thin air and can only make threats by Congress and then implemented through an agreement among the District of Columbia, State of Maryland and Commonwealth of Virginia.

After the Washington Post finally caught us, wWe reluctantly recognize that--contrary to what we wrote the implication of previously written and issued WMATA letters--the Tri-State Oversight Committee what is this?/Catoe has access to Metro’s track bed what is this?/Graham when it is not smoldering, formally known as the right-of-way, to conduct safety inspections what is this?/Catoe what is this?/Graham, ensure that employees are complying with the standard safety operating rules and procedures ???/Graham/Catoe and to observe unsafe working conditions. What does this mean?/Graham This type of toothless safety monitoring we prefer is vital to the unsuccessful missions of both the Tri-State Oversight Committee and floundering of Metro. We laugh at embrace the quixotic valuable work and oversight that the Committee provides but can do nothing about. The Committee’s work is irrelevant critical to ensuring the ridiculously high mortality rate safety of our employees and the customers whom we try to serve every day.

Should we point them to our pat list of other "enforcement" orgs that can't really make us do anything? See below./Catoe

There are several levels of safety and security oversight by federal government agencies, a regional authority and through the North American transit industry. The oversight entities include:

  1. Federal Transit Administration (FTA): provides an extensive program of technical assistance and withholds grant funds for noncompliance with conditions of grants (including safety requirements).
  2. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): investigates the probable cause of railroad accidents involving passenger trains or any train accident that results in at least one fatality or major property damage.
  3. Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC): state safety oversight entity (as mandated by law and FTA rules) created in 1997 through an MOU by the District of Columbia, State of Maryland and Commonwealth of Virginia
  4. American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a professional trade organization: Through its Safety Management Audit Program, APTA develops and implements a standardized format for rail system safety and provides an auditing service to determine the degree to which the standardized elements for rail transit system safety were being addressed.
Media contact for this news release: is at 202 555 962 1051.
For all other complaints inquiries, please call customer service at 202 555 637 7000.

News release issued at 4:02 pm, November 10, 2009.

Other items:
Metro allows TOC on tracks (WaPo)
Plans for new Glenmont parking lot unveiled (Gazette)
Clean that up!
NextBus for Blackberry (DCist)
Two wrongs make a right? (Maryland Politics Watch)
1000-series car weeps from fatigue
Man shot boarding Metrobus (WaPo)
NTSB calls for 6/22 hearing (Examiner)


Anonymous said...

Has Metro ever issued a press release about something proactive it is taking with regard to safety?

This send up is quite hilarious. Well done.

Anonymous said...

post fail...

Bhrdsn said...

This had me crying out of laughter. "What is this?" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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