Transportation Policy

More Problems for D.C.'s Metro System


Last month, I put up a post about D.C.'s beleaguered Metro system and how, despite an atrocious safety record over the last few years (including last June's train crash that killed nine people), Metro's board of directors still rewarded director John Catoe, Jr. with a new three-year contract.

It hasn't gotten much better for Catoe or Metro since then. Earlier this month, another pedestrian was struck and killed by a Metro bus. And this week, local radio station WTOP concluded a whopping investigation into complaints against Metro bus and train operators. What they found:

Since 2004, Metro bus drivers and train operators have been cited more than 4,000 times for endangering the lives of their passengers. The incidents of dangerous and sometimes illegal behavior include speeding in residential neighborhoods at more than twice the posted speed, running red lights and collisions with pedestrians, bicycles and even a wheelchair.

In addition to the daily occurrences of unsafe behavior by the operators, records obtained by WTOP through a public records request show there have been hundreds of cases of unprofessional behavior, ranging from physical altercations with passengers to bus drivers urinating into random containers on their buses.

Here's a categorized spreadsheet of the complaints. The report also found that despite the thousands of complaints over the last four years, just 18 Metro operators have been fired over that period.