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Thu May 13, 2021, 07:58 PM

Metro is behind on training and safety protocols, audit says

Gridlock

Metro is behind on training and safety protocols, audit says

By Justin George
May 12, 2021 at 5:24 p.m. EDT

Metro is not keeping up with preventive maintenance, lacks needed safety certifications and is not training employees on how to maintain the system’s complex equipment and machinery, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission said in a new audit.

The commission, which oversees Metrorail safety, released a 45-page audit Wednesday that reviewed Metro’s use of its signals and automatic train control (ATC) system — which coordinates train movements systemwide — as well as the training, inspection and maintenance involved with maintaining both.

[Metro’s rail control center a ‘toxic workplace’ where procedures put riders at risk, safety report says]

Among the violations cited was not following safety certification procedures while testing automatic train operation, which is the driverless system that Metro used for decades and is considering reinstalling. The transit agency is also not scheduling, completing or tracking all preventive maintenance as required by manufacturer manuals, the commission said.

The audit said managers bypass preventive maintenance work without a standardized way of determining whether doing so is safe. There are no minimum training course requirements for new employees before they are assigned maintenance work on ATC machines or equipment, the safety commission said.

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By Justin George
Justin George is a reporter covering national transit and Metro, the D.C.-area public transportation system, for The Washington Post. He previously covered criminal justice for the Marshall Project and the Baltimore Sun. Twitter https://twitter.com/justingeorge

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