Friday, March 5, 2010

FTA Recommendations Sound Like High WMATAese

In a report blasting Metro for its safety record (PDF), the FTA recommended Metro take the actions listed below.

Seems like most of it is a fancier version of the same old bureaucratic mumbo jumbo Metro has been spewing. Remember "safety stand down" and the big safety shake up?

We've got one recommendation we think would go a lot further than all of these.

"Don't guess when it comes to safety because if you f*ck up, you're fired."

Yes, it's a pipe dream, but if Metro doesn't get to the root issues, we're not likely to see a world-class mass transit system anytime soon.

Anyway, here's what the FTA thinks will solve Metro's woes. The ones in bold actually seem like they might at least help. Or, maybe they should just show this video. (graphic)

  1. Conduct an assessment to identify the resources and expertise necessary for the Safety Department to carry out the activities specified in WMATA’s System Safety Program Plan and Safety Rules and Procedures Manual.
  2. Use the results of the assessment to ensure adequate staffing levels and expertise within the Safety Department.
  3. Increase the Safety Department’s access to operating and maintenance information and reports to ensure that this information is being analyzed for potential impacts on the safety of WMATA.
  4. Develop an internal process to require the communication of safety-related information across all WMATA departments, including the impacts of budget reductions and resource constraints on the performance of safety-related maintenance activities and requirements.
  5. Define and implement the process for the top Safety Department position to communicate safety priorities to the General Manager in a timely and consistent manner.
  6. Identify the technical skills required to perform system-wide hazard analysis (as required in 49 CFR Part 659 and TOC’s Program Standard). To the extent that WMATA Safety Department staff does not currently possess the needed skills, provide training as soon as practicable.
  7. Update the WMATA System Safety Program Plan (specifically Procedure #2.1/0 and Section 6) to develop a hazard management process that ensures that all WMATA departments participate in an on-going manner.
  8. Institute a process to ensure that changes in operating rules are analyzed for safety impacts before system-wide implementation. For example, WMATA engineering bulletins are “field tested” before full implementation.
  9. Finalize the right-of-way protection rules, develop training to implement the new rules and ensure all right-of-way employees and contractors receive this training before accessing the right-of-way.
  10. Implement the configuration management program described in the WMATA System Safety Program Plan.


Anonymous said...

and people want the government to take over metro???

klalex said...

Until there's accountability among all Metro employees, nothing will change over the long haul.

Instituting processes will get you nowhere if there's no buy in.

Anonymous said...

11. Remove all doors from offices and restrooms to encourage more communications between departments. ;D

steviepg said...

The FTA report would indeed be "scathing" if they'd really addressed the problem. Unfortunately, no one wants to open that can of worms, so here we sit.

Anonymous said...

That video is so wrong and so funny.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is somewhat apples to oranges, but I thought this article about MARTA's (Atlanta's transit system) escalators was interesting.

Interesting to see MARTA's reaction when finding that one mechanic was bypassing safety precautions. Wonder what WMATA would have done if the mechanic worked there...

Anonymous said...

11. Hire the best lawyers around, break the WMATA compact, renegotiate with the union, give them good pay benefits, but make them fireable.

12. Remake Board into people who know transit.

Anonymous said...

Beefing up the whistleblower policy will go a long way. We'd all be surprised to learn what it's really like.

Anonymous said...

Metro needs Joe Clark. seriously.

Anonymous said...

lena sun of the post she is in bed with john catoe ...ask her about the deal she made to protect johns west coast buddies......

Anonymous said...

This is fine to list improvements but the problems root from "The People" in the managerial jobs, "buddy network" who are all one nationality.
Make METRO force all races in management positions in all departments, ALL departments!
That means hire qualified employees from inside Metro from each nationality/base.

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