Metro says it’s much closer to improving safety measures on the rails months after the deadliest crash in the system’s history.
The issue in the spotlight is the electronic system designed to detect the location of trains on the track. Metro says it is about to test new safety system,after federal investigators discovered key problems with the system currently in place.
It’s been exactly four months since the Metro crash that killed eight passengers and the train’s operator. Some Metro riders say the problem existed way before then.
“It seems like the system has be broken for a long time- but only until a larger issue happens then they get the attention to actually fix it,” said Javier Lopez, Virginia resident.
Jules Pagano said she thinks Metro’s problem goes far beyond the tracks.
“Management is a key issue,” she said. “Some real serious evaluation about it it serving the public? Are they aware of how many people need it? Maybe this is where we do some investing.”
But other riders say any upgrade to the transit system is a welcomed one.
“It might be coming too late, but then maybe it can actually prevent another accident in the future, so it’s never too late,” said Belinda Powell, D.C. resident.
Metro officials say that a test for the software is planned for Monday’s morning rush hour.
The National Transportation Safety Board told Metro that its crash-avoidance system was inadequate and called for the transit agency to develop a backup. Investigators have not announced the cause of the crash, but there has been a focus the automatic train control system, designed to keep trains a safe distance apart.
Metro’s deputy general manager Gerald Francis says it’s too soon to know when a fully operable backup would be in place.
“We’re going to be working very hard at it, continuous, until we come up with what we’re looking for,” Frances said.