Metro to Sink $630K Into "Uncrashworthy" Cars

First car of striking train in June 22 Red Line crash was a 1000 series

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr.com/brownpau
    A Metro door only half-opens.

    Metro's board is set to approve a $638,000 contract on Thursday to fix malfunctioning door hardware on Metro's oldest 1000 series cars, according to The Washington Post.

    Repairing nearly 2,000 "door control units" on the 30+ years old cars will take up to three years, Metro says.

    And all of this is somehow unrelated to the fact that Metro train operators have been manually opening and closing doors since April 2008.

    Or that it was a 1000 series car that folded up into itself in the June 22 Red Line crash that killed nine and injured 80.

    Or that the 1000 series cars are also the same ones the National Transportation Safety Board called not "crashworthy" after their investigation of the Red Line crash.

    Or even that the cars, which make up more than 25 percent of Metro's fleet, will eventually be phased out, according to the transit agency.

    No matter. It does not eliminate the need to fix the "door control units" problem, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel told the WashPo.

    "Essentially, it's a safety issue that needs to be corrected," he said. "We need to retain the reliability of the 1000 series cars."

    Because the cars are just so.. reliable, right?

    Taubenkibel says Metro still needs to operate 1000 series cars because "any type of replacement vehicle is several years away." That, and the transit agency says that replacing all 290 of the 30+ years old cars would cost nearly $900 million.

    So the next time you're riding Metro, rest assured that, within the next few years, at least your doors will be operating properly.