Washington Metrorail Safety Commission

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 7000-Series Cars: Courtesy Wikipedia

Transit Briefs: WMATA, Tren Urbano

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) has been given the green light to return more 7000-series rapid transit cars to service. Also, the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority (PRHTA) has selected Cubic to modernize its fare collection infrastructure on the Tren Urbano rail system.

VIA Rail is adding “buffer cars at the front and back end of all trains with [older] stainless steel equipment to reduce the consequences in the unlikely event of a train-to-train collision,” Canada’s government-owned passenger railroad told The Globe and Mail. This safety measure will remain until older cars can be reinforced and new Siemens trainsets (pictured) enter service. (Photograph Courtesy of VIA Rail Canada)

Transit Briefs: TTC, VIA Rail, WMATA, BART/MTC

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) selects AECOM as owner’s engineer for the Bloor-Yonge Station Capacity Improvements project. Also, VIA Rail Canada is adding “buffer” cars to some trains to improve safety; Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) reports that next month the Silver Line extension will be operationally ready to open, but it’s unclear if more 7000-series railcars will be approved for release to support it; and San Francisco Bay Rapid Transit District (BART) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) report a plastic Clipper® fare-card shortage.

WMATA Communications Systems Audit Report Released

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail rapid transit system has safety gaps related to communications system training, supervisory oversight, safety promotion, maintenance, documentation, hazard identification, and procedural compliance, according to a 2022 Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) audit report released Sept. 29. As a result, WMSC has issued nine findings requiring WMATA to develop corrective action plans, plus two recommendations that the transit agency must address.

WMATA can safely operate up to 20 of its 7000-series cars per day, up from the current limit of eight trains, under an updated return-to-service plan approved by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. (WMATA 7000-Series Cars: Courtesy Wikipedia )

Transit Briefs: CTA; DART; MBTA; Minn. Met Council; WMATA

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is deploying K-9 teams across its rail system. Also, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is hosting the Latinos in Transit 2022 Leadership Summit; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) maintenance-of-way blitz on the Orange Line is 50% complete; Minnesota’s Southwest Light Rail project has a $534 million funding shortfall, according to a state audit report; and more 7000-series rapid transit cars will return to service starting Sept. 12 at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Eight 7000-series trains have resumed service at WMATA and are running on the Green and Yellow lines. (WMATA 7000-Series Rapid Transit Cars: Courtesy Wikipedia )

Transit Briefs: LIRR, Metra, WMATA

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has completed New Hyde Park (N.Y.) station upgrades and removed three grade crossings as part of its $2.5 billion Third Track Project. Also, Chicago’s Metra is seeking rider feedback as it develops a new five-year strategic plan; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on June 16 returned to service eight 7000-series trains.

Paul J. Wiedefeld on May 16 retired from his role as General Manager and CEO of WMATA. His original retirement date was June 30, 2022.

WMATA: GM/CEO Wiedefeld, COO Leader Out (UPDATED)

Just one day after Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that it was removing from service 72 rail operators due to a lapse in recertification, General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld decided to step down—weeks ahead of his expected retirement date—and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader resigned, the transit agency reported late May 16.

“Lapse in Metrorail [WMATA] operator recertification results in changes to certain trains effective Monday [May 16]. Green and Yellow line rail service moves to every 20 minutes beginning Monday,” WMATA reported via Twitter on May 15. (Photograph Courtesy of WMATA, Via Twitter)

WMATA Removes 72 Rail Operators

Nearly half of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 500 rail operators have lapsed recertification, WMATA reported May 15, prompting the agency to remove from service 72, who became out of compliance more than a year ago.

More Emergency Management Work Ahead for WMATA, Audit Finds

The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) on Feb. 22 released an audit report of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) emergency management and fire and life safety programs that it said demonstrates “some improvements since the 2015 smoke accident near L’Enfant Plaza Station*, including markedly improved training and system familiarization for local first responders”; however, more work is required.