Management & Operations

WMATA riders to receive terrorist attack preparation

Posted on September 2, 2004

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) will train a select group of commuters this month ways to evacuate trains and subway tunnels and how to help fellow passengers during a terrorist attack.

WMATA officials have developed a program that will include walking volunteer passengers into dark subway tunnels to teach them to navigate live tracks as trains roll by.

According to the Washington Post, rail officials said the training would be useful during natural disasters or fires, but the main purpose of the campaign is to prepare for a terrorist attack on the system, which experts say is a potential target.

“The fact is, there may not be enough first responders, or they might not be able to get to you right away,” Transit Police Chief Polly Hanson told reporters. “We're trying to help our customers help each other.”

According to the American Public Transportation Association, WMATA’s training program is the only one of its kind in the country.

WMATA has posted an animated guide to evacuating trains, subway tunnels, stations and buses on its Website at

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