Main­te­nance and safety go to­gether

The Washington Post - - POWER POST -

As I read an­other ar­ti­cle on a Metro in­ci­dent — “Rust prob­lem blamed for Jan. Metro de­rail­ment” [Metro, March 9] — it amazed me that “safety” is to blame again. Safety is not the prob­lem or the cause of Metro’s prob­lems. The prob­lem is main­te­nance, or lack thereof.

The ar­ti­cle quoted a Metro safety of­fi­cer, but we need to hear from main­te­nance of­fi­cials with the Washington Met­ro­pol­i­tan Area Tran­sit Author­ity.

Metro should stop blam­ing safety and im­prove main­te­nance and re­pairs. Mike McCul­lion, Ashburn

So, af­ter Metro’s train op­er­a­tors

demon­strated dif­fi­culty in un­der­stand­ing that red lights mean “stop,” we now learn that its safety in­spec­tors don’t know what black means. While fed­eral safety in­spec­tors use black to des­ig­nate a se­ri­ous de­fi­ciency in the sys­tem re­quir­ing im­me­di­ate ac­tion, Metro has been us­ing black to call at­ten­tion to rou­tine main­te­nance prob­lems. Thus, Metro rou­tinely down­graded ur­gent fed­eral code-black is­sues to ones in­volv­ing rou­tine main­te­nance.

What this new knowl­edge shows is that the rust prob­lem is not just on Metro’s tracks but be­tween the ears of its ad­min­is­tra­tors. Paul A. McGuck­ian, Rockville

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