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McCartney: Get serious, Metro

Some of the commentary in the wake of the National Transportation Safety Board's withering findings about safety at Metro pointed out that while the NTSB evaluates systems based on a single criterion, safety--without taking into consideration even financial feasibility--most of us, on any given weekday, are judging the system based on other factors, like convenience, reliability and affordability. Metro leadership, meanwhile, must balance all these factors with the resources at hand.

But in today's newspaper, Post columnist Bob McCartney contends that other factors aside, the NTSB had it right: Systemic deprioritization of safety is a cultural issue, one of attitudes and mindsets--and changing those doesn't cost a cent.

"At Metro, however, it emerged at Tuesday's hearing that workers were ignoring thousands of alarms a week triggered by the faulty signaling devices, known as track circuit modules. The attitude was: The machines don't work, but there haven't been any crashes, so why worry?," he writes.

Read the rest of McCartney's column and let us know your thoughts on the "Metro mindset" and how safety fits in with quality service and a limited budget.

By Luke Rosiak  | July 29, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Eventually, Metro will have to replace colors and go to letters and numbers for the subway lines. One reason, too many colors is simply too confusing. Also, color blind people hava a terrible time reading the maps and figuring out which trains are yellow, blue, etc. I have had to help many a color blind person while riding the Metro.

Posted by: guyrkirby | July 29, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea that color blindness, illiteracy, and deafness correlated.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."

Richard Feynman
US educator & physicist (1918 - 1988)

He said this in response to the Challenger loss, but it applies equally well here.

Posted by: j_oper | July 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The entire Metro Board (with the possible exception of the two recently appointed federal representatives) should resign immediately.

Nothing is going to happen until they are gone or the Metro Board is restructured or replaced with something that can be held accountable.

Posted by: ceebee2 | July 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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