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Grant targets Metro impostors

Metro will use an $18.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to prevent unauthorized people from driving off in its buses and to improve security at its yards.

The agency said in a statement that the grant will pay for several projects, including a "bus driver authentication system," that could remotely slow buses and bring them to a stop. The money will also pay for fencing, cameras and lighting at Metro yards.

The move follows an incident in July where William Jackson, a 19-year-old District resident, drove off in a bus, according to charging documents. Authorities said he wore a standard-issue Metro bus driver's uniform, made his way into the Bladensburg bus garage in Northeast and drove off, pretending to be a driver assigned to the B2 route, which goes from Bladensburg Road to Anacostia, picking up passengers along the way. Four miles later, the bus crashed into a tree and several cars. No one was injured, but Jackson fled and was arrested.

Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle in D.C. Superior Court earlier this month. He could face up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 8 by Judge Frederick H. Weisberg.

A committee of Metro's board of directors voted Thursday to amend the capital budget with the grant and to initiate the contracts. The full board is expected to vote on the issue Sept. 30.

By Michael Bolden  | September 16, 2010; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Metrobus  
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Next: Ocean City airport gets grant


$18.6 million because they temporary lost ONE bus? wow

Posted by: jiji1 | September 16, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

American taxpayer money for this????

Posted by: cibor | September 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

How many six-car trains could become eight-car trains for $18.6M? Cripes.

Posted by: Stevis16 | September 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Waste and fraud from the Bush years.

Posted by: bs2004 | September 16, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke, right?

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 17, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Another example of Metro waste...

Posted by: mar237 | September 17, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

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