Some riders blame Metro management for the further delays

With nearly half of Metro’s 500 train operators having lapsed recertification and 72 of them being removed from service, riders are paying the price by waiting longer for trains Monday.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert asked commuters at the Huntington Metro station for their reaction to delays after WMTA announced half its drivers had lapsed recertification. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Terry Roegner arrived to the Huntington Metro Station in Alexandria, Virginia, just after 5 a.m. He had to wait another 29 minutes for a train to depart.

“It is something we’ve experienced for the last year or so,” Roegner said, referring to WMATA pulling the 7000 series rail cars, which was over half of the service’s fleet, over derailment concerns.

“It’s been twenty minutes, so another 10 is to be expected,” Roegner continued.

Jim from Alexandria was also waiting on an early morning train. He blames management for certification issues.

“Someone lapsed on their duty. You know when certifications are due and if you don’t, there seems to be a misjudgment in management,” Jim said. “As a manager you should be on top of your crew, your employees.”

“It should be on management’s end to say, ‘Your certification is due.’”

Roegner seemed uneasy about many operators’ lapse in certification due to training.

“Well it sounds a little questionable,” he said. “Hopefully they will get it straightened out before they put them back online.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also leveled blame at Metro management, saying it’s not a funding issue, “it is a management problem.”

“It has been disappointing to residents, workers, and visitors that, as D.C. has reopened, Metro has not been able to deliver the level of service we expect and deserve,” Bowser said in a statement.

“This latest setback is frustrating for everyone who relies on Metro, and we expect that WMATA will provide the public with a full understanding of how this happened and how they will prevent it from happening again in the future.”

Other riders were still confident in Metro.

“They have been driving all this time and they didn’t have the training prior,” said Elic Cooper, who lives near the Huntington Station. “They’ve been doing a good job.”

Jim said he wishes riders just got more of a heads up.

“If people had notifications prior, they can plan ahead and say let me come early because there is going to be a delay,” Jim said. “You kind of knew this ahead of time and if you didn’t, again, it is mismanagement.”

In the meantime, Roegner said, “Have plenty of patience, because you are going to need it.”

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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