Overall, Metro’s fiscal year 2018 performance report covering July 2017 through the end of June 2018 lists 82 smoke or fire incidents compared to 98 in the same period a year earlier.
The Federal Transit Administration has approved a Metro plan to add new safety barriers between new 7000 Series train cars by the end of May instead of the original federal deadline at the end of this year.
Metro must replace faulty wiring on every single one of its new 7000 Series rail cars in a process that could take a year or longer, according to a new internal review that also found other significant issues tied to the rail car manufacturing program.
High-visibility orange-and-white reflective tape is meant to help ensure that riders do not mistake the space between cars for an open door. The agency, however, still does not expect to meet a federally imposed deadline to add chain-link barriers by year’s end.
The letter from the FTA to General Manager Paul Wiedefeld directs immediate action on the rubber barriers between cars, after an incident last month in which a visually impaired person fell onto the tracks while trying to get on a train.
A woman who witnesses said appeared to be blind fell between two cars of a new train Friday morning. While it is not certain that a lack of protective barriers contributed to this particular incident, it is a problem Metro has been warned about before.
Metro’s new 7000 Series cars are falling short of contract requirements due to a series of system failures, but the agency said it is working on improvements that are already beginning to show benefits.
Metro’s new 7000 Series cars are experiencing more problems than they should, and there still aren’t enough of them. Meanwhile, new steps to fix problem-prone older cars include more frequent inspections.
Two weeks after identifying the problem, Metro is pushing back its timeline for returning the new cars to the three rail lines hit hardest by its Safe Track program.
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