WASHINGTON - Metro is facing questions over its inspection practices after a newly-released report.
This review was all part of a study that took a closer look into how Metro does track inspections. It was written by the American Public Transportation Association back in April, but Metro finally released it after pressure from some WMATA board members to make it public.
This report found the transit agency had inexperienced inspectors, workers not trained properly, hard-to-read manuals and poor communication among workers.
This comes in the wake of a train derailment at the East Falls Church in July. Since then, we have been learning more about Metro’s inspection system that, much like the tracks themselves, is in need of an overhaul.
The investigation found that Metro's training programs are not good enough, and to make matters worse, when inspectors and repair crews are out on the tracks, it found that a better system to communicate with each other is needed. The report also stated inspectors were being "hired directly off the street" with no minimum ability or testing to see if they were up to the job.
But the review also said that the workers are enthusiastic and that these inspectors want to do a better job, but they just need better training and materials to do it.
Metro's new management team has pledged to implement a "safety culture" among workers and brought in a new chief safety officer earlier this year who is a 30-year veteran of the New York City subway system.
We talked to the office of the WMATA board chairman Jack Evans and he said the release of this report is all part of the process of being transparent and letting people know exactly what is going on inside Metro.