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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Metro train operator to be retrained

By Washington Post Editors

YouTube link

4 p.m. Update: A Metro operator is undergoing refresher training after a video captured a passenger speaking with the operator through an open door of the cab as the train traveled between stations, according to Metro.

Metro officials said they learned of the incident on Monday, the day the video was posted on YouTube. Officials identified the operator involved in the incident, which took place as the Yellow Line train was headed to Reagan National Airport, said Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff.

The story was first reported by NBC 4.

"Train operators are required to focus on the safe operation of the train, and we immediately followed up with our employee to address what appears to be an incident in which an operator is distracted," Woodruff said.

Metro declined to identify the operator.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

Original post: Metro is investigating a case of a Yellow Line operator who allegedly had a conversation with a passenger while operating a train, an apparent violation of safety protocols.

Since the June 2009 Red Line crash, Metro's trains have been manually operated for safety reasons. The video shows a person seated outside the operator's cab leaning into the cab appearing to have a conversation.

The story was first reported by NBC 4.

According to the report, Metro issued the following statement:

"We are aware of the video and we know who the train operator is. We will investigate the incident and follow up with the operator on proper train operation procedures. We encourage customers to refrain from speaking with operators while the train is in motion."

Check back for more details.

By Washington Post Editors  | January 4, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

Geez, can we mind our business?! We don't need to monitor Metro operators. Would you like it if people narc'd on you? Stay classy, DC...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

the operator needs to be fired thats the only way metro employees will learn, but than again they have a union that will back them up right or wrong no matter what

Posted by: JeroRobson1 | January 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

A number of times I have tried to report that the A/C last summer was not working. Sometimes the operator responded to the call box and sometimes he didn't.

How are you supposed to get his attention? If you stop in a station, he is busy opening and closing doors and making announcements.

Posted by: swissmiss150 | January 4, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree:

Geez, can we mind our business?! We don't need to monitor Metro operators. Would you like it if people narc'd on you? Stay classy, DC...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

=====================================

some insecure jacka** was trying to cause trouble. If they felt they were in danger they should of reported it at the next stop.

that being said - no training is needed. Tell the moron to stop talking while driving or he is fired, "retrained"? Ridiculous.

Posted by: jackson641 | January 5, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree:

Geez, can we mind our business?! We don't need to monitor Metro operators. Would you like it if people narc'd on you? Stay classy, DC...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

=====================================

You’re kidding right? Stay classy DC?

So you don’t think it’s a problem if the person who is manually driving the train you are on is not paying attention? Would it have been classy if that train derailed and killed passengers because the driver was more interested in a conversation with a passenger, than safely navigating the train?

I think the classy thing would be for Metro to stop spending money and time continually reorganizing their management structure and hiring top level people. Metro’s resources need to be used to upgrade systems that monitor their operation, create better training techniques and enforce a strong system of rewards or disciplinary actions based on performance.

Maybe passengers wouldn’t feel like they have to publically “narc” on unsafe behavior if they believed Metro was on top of things.

Posted by: CitizenOfDC | January 5, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I don't think who ever supplied this video is trying to cause trouble, but rather bringing a legitimate problem to attention. Distracted driving is unsafe in any vehicle but something like this could easily lead to an accident. I'm guessing you wouldn't be too happy if the train you are riding on could have avoided an accident if the train operator had simply hit the emergency brake, but was too busy jibber-jabbing to pay enough attention.

I have reported multiple complaints to WMATA over the years and they seemingly fall on deaf ears. No response from WMATA, no change in behaviors of their employees, and the public never knows. By providing this type of evidence to the press and having such venues as this blog to share our experiences, it brings WMATA's ineptitude to the forefront and results in increased scrutiny and usually an actual response from WMATA on the issue.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | January 5, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree:

Geez, can we mind our business?! We don't need to monitor Metro operators. Would you like it if people narc'd on you? Stay classy, DC...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | January 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

=====================================

You’re kidding right? Stay classy DC?

So you don’t think it’s a problem if the person who is manually driving the train you are on is not paying attention? Would it have been classy if that train derailed and killed passengers because the driver was more interested in a conversation with a passenger, than safely navigating the train?

I think the classy thing would be for Metro to stop spending money and time continually reorganizing their management structure and hiring top level people. Metro’s resources need to be used to upgrade systems that monitor their operation, create better training techniques and enforce a strong system of rewards or disciplinary actions based on performance.

Maybe passengers wouldn’t feel like they have to publically “narc” on unsafe behavior if they believed Metro was on top of things.

Posted by: CitizenOfDC | January 5, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

metro employees= dc's version of welfare to 'work'. Quit hiring ghetto trash for metro jobs. There are lots of decent folk who would be happy to have such jobs and would actually...er follow the safety rules and regulations when working!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | January 5, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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