The Post reported in September that internal Metro documents showed the decision [to shift the 1000-series cars to the middle of trains] had been a public relations move. Metro officials said their decision was justified by an 11-year-old outside study involving a different kind of train and posted a detailed "correction" to The Post article on the agency's Web site.
In sworn testimony Wednesday, Metro engineer Mike Hiller said he disagreed with Metro's use of that study. "I could not conclusively agree that this information would support a decision on engineering to place a car into the center" of a series of rail cars, Hiller said. NTSB investigator Rick Downs asked, "Would that be a fair paper to utilize to rebut that point?" "No," Hiller responded. Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein apologized to The Post after the testimony and retracted the rebuttal.
We all knew moving those ancient 1000-series cars to the middle of the trains was a PR stunt. However, when the Post actually ran an article saying so, Metro's PR department feigned outrage.
In the rebuttal, which is full of a Farbsteinesque 'tude* (and a boatload of typos), Metro said "The idea that there will be less damage to a 1000-series railcar if it is placed farther from the impact of a collision is common sense."
Actually, Metro, common sense would be to listen to your engineers and level with the public.
When an agency will turn a blind eye to its own internal experts and go on to say anything or do anything just to cover its own behind without any regard for safety, one can only shudder at the thought of other lurking nightmares Metro is trying to bullsh*t its way out of.And we still haven't heard a good explanation refuting the notion that putting the 1000-series in the middle of the trains might actually be more dangerous since those are often the most crowded cars.
*"Our expectation was that the reporters would take the initiative to contact other transit agencies to ask if they were bellying railcars. Metro officials are responsible for knowing how Metro operates, not how other transit agenciesoperate [sic] their fleets. If a reporter wants to know what another transit agency is doing, they need to contact other transit gencies."[sic]