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July: A rough month for Metro

Thursday - 7/26/2012, 5:23pm  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - After a series of mishaps and meltdowns, Metro's leader concedes this was not a great month for the transit agency.

"We had a heck of a July," General Manager Richard Sarles told reporters after a board meeting Thursday.

The way he characterized July to his board was "tough."

A derailment, heat kinks, power problems, air conditioning issues and two computer meltdowns plagued Metro in July.

Sarles says riders have reason to be upset.

"If I were sitting on a hot rail car or if I were delayed, I certainly would be frustrated myself. As a lifelong commuter, I understand that," he says.

Mother nature is one thing, but the most recent incident had to do with the failure of an internal Metro computer system that tracks trains. That caused some trains to freeze in place, standing riders.

Sarles said a fix is in place, but work continues.

"We've replaced the parts, so they are new. In the future we are looking at ways that the system will respond differently," he says.

He stresses that many trains were told to stay put during the incident out of an abundance of caution -- but safety systems that keep trains spaced apart properly were still operating.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)