Metro leaders grilled by Maryland lawmakers

Like many riders, some Maryland lawmakers are losing patience with Metro.

The agency’s leaders were the target of tough questions and barbs at a hearing of the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and the Environment on Wednesday.

“Frankly, riders and taxpayers are all very frustrated,” said Del. Marc Korman, of Montgomery County. “The suggestion from some of you has been that we’ve turned some kind of corner, and if we’ve turned a corner, we’ve run into a wall.”

The hearing touched on sidelined railcars, train operators with lapsed certifications, third rails being improperly powered up and Metro’s safety culture.

“I’m just really disappointed,” said Montgomery County Del. Jared Solomon.

“We know that we have a long road to hoe here,” said Metro interim general manager and CEO Andy Off. “We do not want any more stories of this nature. We want to be a top-notch, world-class safety organization.”

“It’s really critical for Metro, as it fixes something, to work to ensure that it stays fixed,” said Washington Metrorail Safety Commission CEO David Mayer. “But that’s, again, not an engineering thing. It’s a people and culture kind of thing.”

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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