Monday, November 30, 2009

New Safety Scheme, Same Old Problems

If you're looking for a silver lining, about the best you could come up with is at least this latest collision took place when there were no passengers on the trains. However, three Metro workers were injured slightly, and, according to Metro, one car won't be able to be fixed in yet another ding to Metro's dwindling supply of rolling stock.

Eight-car trains, at this rate, will be an even rarer sighting..

The Post is reporting the damage at $9 million
, another substantial blow to the budget gap.

Apparently, that big safety "shake up" a couple of weeks ago didn't magically solve all the problems. Then again, did anyone really think it was anything but a reshuffling of the deck chairs?

Maybe it's time for another standard trick, the ol' "safety stand down." That'll fool 'em.

Then again, maybe not. Less than 10 days after the last one, a WMATA subcontractor was electrocuted on the job.

Metro often whines about its poor public image, once going so far as to blame passengers.

While we've documented many sucky passengers on this blog, passengers don't collide trains.

Perhaps if Metro made some real changes, like making its management and operators publicly accountable when something goes awry, the "reputation deficit" might start to turn around, but instead Metro appears to persist with the smoke and mirrors routines, and that's just not going over so well these days.

Other items:
Fired? Think again. (Examiner)


Anonymous said...

Soon, Metro is going to have to deal with the very real and growing perception that taking the Metro is more dangerous than driving. Of course it's not true, but the sentiment is catching on.

Mary F said...

Why would Metro keep the safety officer yet demote her? I wish i could give my job to someone else and still get the paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Someone ought to print flyers advertising this site and distribute them all over the stations.

Anonymous said...

I think their version of improvement is not what we would define as improvement. WTOP has an article today about 30 MetroAccess drivers who were fired for texting and otherwise risking our lives, now rehired and working! It appears the union believes risking lives with a driver who pays no attention is not a serious infraction, merely a distraction. (WTF?)
Between metro and the union, the Mayan Dec. date of annihilation is becoming a anticipatory fun-filled vacation concept.

Kara said...

Well, at least we know now that putting 1000 series in the middle of the trains does nada and a mettro employee even said it makes things worse.

Not that we did not realize it anyway but is sort of hard to avoid.

BTW, anyone know what series car that was totalled that was *not* one of the 1000s?

Mainland said...

@ Kara

The non-1000 series car that was totaled was a 3000 series (3216). It was the 5th car of the stopped 6 car train. The 4th car on the stopped train (1106) and the 3rd car of the moving train (1171) are the others believed to be damaged beyond repair.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon about those flyers... now wouldn't THAT float Metro's boat? :D

Joshua Davis said...

Something a lot of news seems to be missing is the operator had been working from 5:55pm to 4:15am, the driver had been working for 10 hours and 20 minutes.

As per the press release:

"The operator of train 902 has been a Metro employee since May 2007 and a train operator since November 2008. He is currently on paid administrative leave. He was finishing his shift when the accident took place. His scheduled shift, including breaks, ran from 5:55 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 28) to 4:15 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 29)."

Joshua Davis said...

@anon 9:21

Most MetroAccess workers are contractors, who would not be protected by the union.

Anonymous said...

Metro said (I think in their release?) that it was normal to have shifts that long.

Anonymous said...

They said normal, but with breaks. Typically an hour or more between blocks.

I think the idiot fell asleep. Not Metro's fault. It's probably because he doesn't have the common sense to get enough sleep when he's off duty.

Catoe won't fire the Safety Officer, because she's one of the executives he brought in. He's brought in a bunch of them at overinflated salaries. Most of them (including him and Gerald Francis) have little or no experience in a large RAIL system. They are bus people and have no clue how a rail system runs. They are in too deep and are too stupid to admit it.

Stupid is as stupid does.

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