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Posted at 7:12 PM ET, 10/20/2010

I saw it. I said it. Metro didn't care.

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Nancy L. Cohen
Takoma Park

Regarding the Oct. 14 article on Metro’s safety and security problems [“Metro audit finds numerous safety lapses,” Metro]:

At about 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 14, I left the Takoma Station elevator on the platform level to take the Red Line downtown. A Metro employee was attempting to fix a Farecard machine. At the same time, a woman who had just gotten off the Red Line approached the elevator pushing a dolly supporting a large blue tub. A sign on the tub indicated it contained toxic medical waste. I brought this to the attention of the Metro employee, who indicated by his behavior that he would prefer to work on the Farecard machine than dispel my concern or query the woman with the toxic medical waste. She got on the elevator, and the Metro employee walked away.

When I got to my destination, I went to the Metro kiosk and got the phone number for the Transit Police. I called that number, described the incident and was told to call a second number. At that number, I spoke with a sergeant who had the audacity to tell me that I should have reported my concern at the Metro stop. When I said that I had tried to do so and gave her the employee’s name, she reframed the incident as a personnel matter and gave me the number for customer service.

It was a nonworking number. I called her back and got a second number. Upon reaching that number, I got a recording that said my call could not be processed.

Metro repeatedly broadcasts recordings urging riders to report troubling observations. It appears that Metro personnel have yet to be trained or given the backbone to take action when they receive a report. Can we afford either? Unfortunately, I would not be surprised if this situation represents the norm and not the exception.

Hey, Metro, do you want the names of those employees?

By washingtonpost.com editors  | October 20, 2010; 7:12 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Metro, transportation  
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Comments

Along with the obvious Metro dysfunction in their actual and recorded responses, how could a person (woman in this case) be allowed to transport a container of Toxic Medical Waste - esp in a container tub that probably wasn't sufficiently safe enough to protect other riders from exposure if the container should spill. Much like the emphasis on food, weapons, etc, there should be numerous signs about a station much less employees monitoring for such unsafe cargo to be transported by public transportation. Above all Metro needs to read the woman's comments - listen to their own ill serving telephone recordings and live messages given and then fire the employees who don't do their jobs and change the system - again for this problem.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | October 21, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Along with the obvious Metro dysfunction in their actual and recorded responses, how could a person (woman in this case) be allowed to transport a container of Toxic Medical Waste - esp in a container tub that probably wasn't sufficiently safe enough to protect other riders from exposure if the container should spill. Much like the emphasis on food, weapons, etc, there should be numerous signs about a station much less employees monitoring for such unsafe cargo to be transported by public transportation. Above all Metro needs to read the woman's comments - listen to their own ill serving telephone recordings and live messages given and then fire the employees who don't do their jobs and change the system - again for this problem.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | October 21, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

I reported unattended luggage on a Red Line Metro train to the train operator and the station attendants at Union Station and none of them looked at me while I was speaking, none of them seemed to care and none of them did anything.

Posted by: tink712 | October 21, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I think this type of poor attitude is typical of Metro employees. Metro seems to have a lot of the 'I got mine so why should I bother.Time passes at the same rate no matter if I do a good job or any work.' crowd working for them. I am waiting to see if there is any real"culture change " coming in the future, but I wouldn't count on it. Safety is clearly NOT Metro's first concern.And for a business that's struggling ,some customer service training wouldn't hurt !

Posted by: 10bestfan | October 21, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

If you ever wanted to know what 3rd world-like government in the USA will be like, look no further than DC.

Posted by: john_bruckner | October 21, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It's par for the course. They are completely apathetic. It's a broken system run by mostly incompetent people. Thankfully, they keep raising fares and cutting service. It won't be long before we're all driving again due Metro's negligence.

Posted by: papple | October 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Completely believable. Completely unacceptable. Jibes with the same apathy I've gotten the few times Metro employees deign to talk with their customers. Very sad.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | October 21, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

You obviously believe in slavery.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | October 22, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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