On Monday, January 12, 2015 the METRO train system in Washington, DC had a horrible accident that left 40 injured and one woman dead. I want to start by giving my condolences to the family of this woman. I moved to Washington, DC in 2007 and in that time there have been several METRO train accidents ending in tragedy. I am amazed at the number of accidents or incidents that occur on this system.
I grew up using one of the largest, most used transit systems in the world and I don’t remember this many accidents due to the train system. Of course there was crime and people getting hurt on the system. But I can only remember about three accidents on the systems that where train malfunction or disturbances killed a rider. The NYC Subway, NJ Transit and PATH systems run 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 365 days a year. The only time this system shut down in its 145 historic years was a Saturday, in August 2011 for Hurricane Irene.
I continue to be shocked by the lack of efficiency, care and safety of the METRO system of this area. There are so many things wrong with the METRO train system here in the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia). These trains do not run 24hrs a day and yet this system has more shutdowns, delays, station issues, elevators not working, escalators out etc.. I read in a transportation article a few months ago about DC that about 25% of the District residents are carless. I am one of those and I depend mostly on the METRO trains and bus system to get around everywhere I go.
I think that I am a savvy rider and keep myself informed of what is happening on the METRO system. That’s when I read the alert on my APP I knew immediately something is wrong. I went to Twitter and started reading the @unsuckdcmetro – check it out to know what it’s about. Then when I read that there was smoke and people were stuck in the cars. I started reading the Tweets from the news channels and traffic reporters here in the area. I was in my office writing and unable to turn on a TV. Social media actually can be better for getting information.
It was confusing following the information. No one was quite sure if there was a fire and if so was it a terrorist attack. This is the world we live in now. A few days prior to this were the killings in France. So the area was on edge. But this was yet another break down in the METRO train system. It amazes me that every weekend they are working on this train system with some type of construction, yet nothing seems to ever work. This accident also proved that there seems to be serious issues with the emergency plans set up by WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority). The preliminary incident report came out late last night. It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the DMV.
While we wait for the results of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the stories and the agony are going around. A family mourns the loss of a mother and friend. How many more people have to die before this system changes?
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