To the Editor:
The Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) which runs Metrorail and Metrobus recently called off its executive director search after three finalists withdrew and the board deadlocked over priorities in the face of continuing fare hikes, deteriorating service and deadly safety lapses.
The District of Columbia city council is considering emergency legislation removing one of D.C.’s WMATA members so newly elected Mayor Bowser can appoint a reformist replacement. But when will Virginia begin replacing its WMATA members who have presided over WMATA’s litany of fiascos?
Alexandria’s WMATA member was hospitalized after falling on the Braddock Road station platform in August 2009 en route to a WMATA meeting. After 1992 hearings, WMATA began installing rough “truncated dome” tiles at platform edges for safety reasons. But Braddock Road — 17 years later — still was one of only a small number of platforms without those tiles. It took ‘til last summer for Braddock Road’s platform to be retrofitted with these tiles — five years after a WMATA member slipped en route to a meeting.
Whether it’s passengers succumbing to smoke because WMATA didn’t tell local fire departments communications weren’t working, record fare increases, poor “safety culture,” or constant weekend “track work,” WMATA’s litany of woes is such that its Virginia members need to be held accountable and expeditiously replaced.