Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Safety Can Wait

From Seth Bergin:
How seriously does WMATA take the security of its riders?

On April 13, I reported that nearly all of the overhead lights were out on the covered side of Greenbelt platform at Prince George's Plaza Metro Station.

I took the above photo on August 7. (My apologies about the quality.)

I believe it's unrealistic to expect WMATA to respond and fix reported concerns within 24 or 48 hours (unless it poses an immediate life safety risk), but I would expect that something as simple as changing a light bulb would not take nearly four months--and counting.

With all the recent crime reports occurring at various Metro stations and parking facilities, one cannot help but wonder if inadequate lighting played a part in the perpetration of those crimes.

Adequate lighting is not only a security issue, it is also a safety issue, especially for riders with diminished eyesight or mobility.

In my opinion, it is also an aesthetic issue that makes a profound statement about the quality of service you can expect to receive when using the Metro system.

So what is the message that is being received by Metro's riders?

While I can not speak for every Metro rider, the message I have received is indifference.

My second question is this: What is the policy for the replacement of lights within Metro's facilities?

Is there a threshold that must be reached prior to action being taken?

Do 20 percent of all station lights need to be out before they are addressed? 30 percent? 40 percent?

And if that threshold isn't met, but the lights that are out are all concentrated in a specific area, do they remain out until the threshold is met?

I realize that it would be an inefficient use of resources just to change a single light that's out. I can even get on board with the notion that lighting is probably not at the top of the list while Metro is overhauling its infrastructure.

But there has to be a point where the risk to the safety and security of the riders becomes unacceptable and triggers an immediate response to rectify the situation.

I would urge my fellow riders to use the customer comment form on Metro's website to report your concerns or questions or to provide constructive feedback to Metro. It only takes a few minutes and it could positively impact you or one of your fellow riders. We cannot be part of the solution if we remain silent. I have included the direct link to Metro's customer comment form for your convenience.

And CC unsuckdcmetro[at]yahoo[dot]com

Other items:

Metro hiring three with the sole purpose of sending bus alerts (Examiner)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter