Source: Shakeup Coming for DC's Struggling Metro System

A Metro source told News4 that an organizational shakeup could be on the way for D.C.'s struggling transit system, with changes that will "rock the place."

The talk of a shakeup at Metro comes after a series of serious safety issues, including a fireball that erupted at Federal Center SW Thursday moments after a train passed by. The fireball was captured on alarming video, but did not lead to the closure of the station until Metro's general manager saw it many hours later.

And it comes after another day of frustration for Metro riders. This time, they were slowed by day-long delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver Metrorail lines after a small fire and train that was stuck almost all day long near the Stadium-Armory station. Other delays plagued the Red Line during the morning commute.

"The last couple of weeks have been really rough," said rider Craig Taylor.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told News4's Adam Tuss on Sunday that he's fighting to improve the culture of safety at Metro.

But he said if he had to fire people to do that, he would.

"I may have to," Wiedefeld said.

Wiedefeld is calling in all of the transit agency's 650 managers Tuesday for a meeting -- the first of its kind in the agency's history. He plans to drive home a message of safety.

Wiedefeld is also discussing his massive maintenance plan, called "SafeTrack," which will repair 15 critical areas of Metrorail's system.

It will cause serious disruption for riders -- Wiedefeld called it a "7" on a scale of 1 to 10 -- including closing some stations at 8 p.m. on some nights, weekday single-tracking and closing the system at midnight on weekends.

Wiedelfeld met with D.C. Mayor Bowser Monday to discuss the plan. She is said to be content with what has to happen.

Meanwhile riders, such as Cheryl Bogans, said all they're asking for is a smooth commute.

"If Metro is all you have you have to grin and bear it - what else can you do?" Bogans said.

Contact Us