Monday, July 9, 2012

Where's the Scorn for Metro?

Is Metro getting a pass on the derailment Friday?

Several sources tell me they think Metro should have had speed restrictions in place long before that train derailed at 4:45.

"The extreme heat has been going on pretty much all month," said one. "Why did it take a derailment to wake someone up?"

Another said "Last year, Metro had all trains slow down during the heat wave. I guess they forgot to this year. Oops."

A scan of past Metro press releases shows it has instituted speed restrictions as a preventative measure during previous extreme heat and did so well before rush hour. (Here. Here.) Metro has even instituted speed restrictions for fallen leaves.

What happened this time around? The temperature has been over 95 for most of the month.

Luckily, no one was injured, and again, Metro dodged a bullet.

Metro will likely keep gambling as long as they're allowed to get away with it by our local politicians and press.

But our local politicians and the press are capable of dishing out strongly worded and deserved scorn for area organizations that continue to fail their customers.

Take Pepco, which was slow to restore power after the big storms that hit June 29.

DC mayor Vincent Gray said he was "fed up" with Pepco. DC councilwoman Mary Cheh called for a probe of Pepco. Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett called Pepco's timetable for restoring power "unacceptable.'

Even the PR man's favorite newspaper, the Washington Post ran an editorial, saying:
We single out Pepco not only because of its sluggish response after the recent storm — and its inexcusably spotty communications — but also because of its woeful record in maintaining and restoring service following earlier storms.
Maryland State Sen. James C. Rosapepe blasted Pepco, saying:
It's no longer an excuse for the utilities to say that we are shocked, shocked, shocked that the wind blew hard, or that it rained a lot or that it snowed for three days. It's unpredictable what weather event will take place on what day, but it is more predictable that we will continue to have them.
Sounds like the Post and Rosapepe could have been talking about another, failing and completely reactive, organization we all know too well.

Ironically, about the only love for Pepco came from, of all places, Metro!

Metro's dysfunction is on a par, if not worse, than Pepco's, but somehow, despite dangerous failure after dangerous failure over a course of years, Metro continues to skate by with little or no criticism from some of the institutions and people that might actually be able to bring about the kind of real change those of us who ride regularly know Metro needs so badly.

Other items:
Dulles rail board spends big on travel (Examiner)
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