D.C. Metro to prohibit cell phone use, texting

Posted on July 10, 2009

Metrobus and Metrorail operators caught using a cell phone, texting or using a PDA while operating a vehicle will be fired under a new zero tolerance policy announced Thursday by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) GM John Catoe. The new policy will take effect on Monday, July 13.


“There is no excuse for anyone who is operating a Metrobus or Metrorail train to be using a cell phone or texting other than for an emergency situation, regardless of whether there are passengers on board,” Catoe said. “We’ve seen the tragic consequences of what happened in Boston and Los Angeles when a transit operator was texting instead of paying attention to the operation of a vehicle. We will not see a repeat here,” he said, referring to recent fatal crashes in those cities. “One strike and you’re out. It’s plain, simple and strong."


The older policy was a progressive disciplinary procedure that gave employees three strikes before termination. The first offense resulted in a five-day suspension without pay; the second a 10-day suspension without pay; the third offense resulted in termination. Metro officials will spend the next few days finalizing the language for its official policy and notifying employees that the “three strikes” disciplinary policy that had been in place is a thing of the past.


The new policy will allow train and bus operators to use personal cell phones during a Metro-defined emergency situation.


The preliminary investigation into last month’s Metrorail train accident at the Fort Totten Metrorail station indicates that Metrorail train operator Jeanice McMillan, who died in the collision, was not using her cell phone while at the controls of her train. After the crash, investigators discovered McMillan’s cell phone in her knapsack.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Cummins ships first QSK95 engine for the rail market

The engine, rated at 4400 hp (3281 kW) will be delivered to Siemens® manufacturing facility in Sacramento, Calif., where it will be installed into a Charger® locomotive.

Thales to modernize signaling for N.Y. MTA's Queens Line

According to MTA’s vision, this line will also be the first interoperable one in the world: it will allow Thales equipment to work seamlessly with other CBTC suppliers’ equipment.

Amtrak to start charging fees for baggage exceeding limits

Amtrak will start on Thursday charging $20 to passengers who exceed limits for carry-on and personal items.

Metra expands online ticket payment options

Customers who purchase tickets for the Northeast Illinois commuter rail system through the agency’s website now have the ability to split their payments among credit and debit cards, including pre-tax transit benefit debit cards.

Las Vegas high-speed rail partners up, Authority meets

The joint venture says construction could begin in September 2016 once it has acquired all the necessary approvals.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close