Hiring, training probe of MetroAccess
The contractor that operates Metro's paratransit service has launched an inquiry of its hiring and training policies in the wake of a string of alleged sexual assaults by MetroAccess drivers on disabled passengers.
Former Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Chief Counsel Patrick W. Reilly has been appointed to lead the inquiry, aimed at determining how the contractor, MV Transportation, can provide "additional protections to passengers," according to a statement on Wednesday from the California-based company.
"The recent accusations of drivers abusing passengers has caused great concern not only for the passengers, their caretakers and the community, but for me personally and our dedicated workforce," said Kevin Klika, president and chief operating officer, in the statement. "While we take several measures during the hiring process to ensure drivers have clean backgrounds, there is always room for improvement."
A Gaithersburg man charged Sept. 5 with sexually assaulting a woman in a MetroAccess vehicle is the fourth contract driver this year accused of attacking a passenger using Metro's service for the disabled.
Metro Transit Police said Samuel E. Kingston, 59, grabbed a woman's breast Aug. 27 while helping her out of the vehicle at a facility where she volunteers in Silver Spring. The woman, who is in her mid-30s, has cerebral palsy and uses a scooter, police said.
-- Ann Scott Tyson
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