Mayor Bowser: “The FTA’s safety audit confirms my belief that WMATA is in need of a management restructuring and organizational turn-around”

Photo by PoPville flickr user John Cochran

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Earlier today, the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) released a Safety Management Inspection Report on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). In response to the report, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following statement:

“The FTA’s safety audit confirms my belief that WMATA is in need of a management restructuring and organizational turn-around. I will continue to work with the District’s appointees to the Board of Directors and our regional partners to demand accountability.” 

15 Comment

  • Thank you Mayor Obvious!!!

  • Bowser was totally mum on Metro safety when she was on the board and during her campaign, and after deadly the smoke incident she said safety had “dramatically” improved. Now she wants us to think she’s on top of this when she (conveniently) waited to share her concerns with us until the system was literally going down in flames? Yeah, no.

  • What [email protected] The fact that she was on the board while the system went into a death spiral was enough to keep me from ever supporting her for any office.

  • no shit ms. native washingtonian.

  • good job jumping on the bandwagon– it’s more reliable than WMATA

  • west_egg

    I’m sure she had perfectly good reasons for taking absolutely no action whatsoever while serving as a member of WMATA’s board. We just need to have patience with the mayor. I’m confident we’ll see a Top to Bottom Review announced any day now. At that point she’ll bring everyone to The Table and we’ll have a nice, long talk about what needs to happen. This issue is so serious we might even see a Deputy Mayor appointment! We’ll be up to our eyeballs in broad generalizations and vague promises. Just hold your breath a little longer, DC, the mayor’s office will be spinning their wheels, looking busy and offering platitudes in no time. We Are Washington DC!™

  • WMATA was created by congress so hopefully this will perk their ears a bit.

    The saving grace of the republican majority is if they do end up doing anything – the union everyone seems to be complaining about will most likely be gone.

    • Accountering

      This would be the biggest positive that could happen in Metro. I wonder how good this system could be with current funding, but with competent, fairly compensated employees, as opposed to the bloated bureaucracy of garbage we currently have.

  • The WMATA management jobs are mostly patronage positions, yes? That seems to cut to the core of the issue. Also, the fact that people who are seen as “working too hard” are punished is just a slap in the face to every commuter and taxpayer.
    Look, I don’t expect a major rail system to be run profitably. I don’t think that there’s any system in the world that doesn’t run without government subsidies. Rail is not a profitable business, it’s infrastructure. And I don’t want to see good, well paid union jobs eviscerated in this age of attack on the middle class. The fact that a guy with a high school education can earn low 6 figures by working a ton of overtime is a good thing, IMHO. We need those types of jobs.
    But damn, the entire culture of WMATA needs a reboot. The MTA in NYC faces similar issues as here, but they are largely competant. The MTA has done an amazing job reopening tunnels, tracks, and stations damaged by Hurricane Sandy. If the same thing happened here…..well, good luck…..

  • palisades

    What is funny to me is the budget that WMATA has is astronomical. Complacency has overridden management and the general workforce. This is what happens when you start a jobs program and hire anyone, and don’t fire anyone.

    Reports that the master control room, which should be staffed by 50 people, and only has 30, is terrifying. These people are endangering hundreds of thousands of people so they can get overtime while they sit on their phones.

    • I mean, not that I don’t agree that the understaffing is appalling, but do you really thing it’s the existing operations people who are preventing new hiring?

  • Bowser prematurely defended WMATA”s safety record in a statement immediately after the January 2015 incident occurred. During her term as ANC and Ward 4 Council it was obvious to some that she had a limited sense of proportion, and now that she’s in higher office it becomes obvious to many.

  • The core of the issue is that it will take billions in additional funding to replace, repair and modernize a large rapid transit system whose infrastructure is significantly at the end of its usable life.

    But we do not believe in maintaining infrastructure in this country. Furthermore, we have perpetrated the myth that all we need to do is spend pennies on the necessary-dollar, with false panaceas like union busting and improving management, that people actually believe that you don’t have to spend at the magnitude that is required to maintain infrastructure. That myth manifests itself in a complete lack of political support to do what is necessary. WMATA will be held together by piecemeal emergency patches until further notice, and it’s largely the fault of our priorities.

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