WASHINGTON — Metro has instituted speed restrictions and midday single-tracking throughout the system as they try to repair track issues discovered in emergency inspections following last month’s derailment. And former Rep. Jim Moran says some of the transit system’s issues may be more than one person can solve.
Metro has said it will name a new permanent general manager by the end of the year — the initial search, begun after Richard Sarles announced his retirement, was scrapped over a debate over the type of leader who should be chosen.
“We need to get a manager in charge very quickly,” Moran, who represented Northern Virginia, says. “I think we’ve had good managers, but sometimes the problems have been more than anyone human being could ever solve in a reasonable period of time.”
He says Metro needs to do even more in the area of preventive maintenance, and add better methods of communication for riders, such as working intercoms in each Metro car to deter bad behavior.
“Metro, traditionally, has been caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers,” Moran says.
But with hundreds of thousands of daily riders, and many more people in the region who benefit from reduced traffic and increased economic development around stations, Moran says a fix is needed, and that Congress should get more involved through transportation authorization and funding bills.
“We’ve got to be together — to get together — to come up with a reasonable solution for some of these defects,” he says.
“If it’s a priority, then I think that we can get the community working together,” he says.