D.C. Metro launches 'close call' reporting system

Posted on June 13, 2013

Largo Towne Center Metro rail station. WMATA photo by Larry Levine
Largo Towne Center Metro rail station. WMATA photo by Larry Levine
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), in partnership with the ATU Local 689, is launching a new pilot program designed to enhance safety by increasing the opportunity for employee reporting of incidents or situations that have the potential for more serious consequences. Metro will become the first rail transit agency in the nation to promote a confidential “Close Call Transit Safety Reporting System.”

While Metro has instituted many safety initiatives to report safety concerns, close call reporting provides another avenue of reporting incidents confidentially, which will enable employees to keep a constant focus and attention to safety. These incidents will not be subject to administrative discipline, but the knowledge of their existence is critical in maintaining and changing the safety culture, according to Metro.

“We want to know what we don’t know, and Close Call reporting is a proven way of gathering information at a stage when we can act to prevent more serious safety incidents, reverse bad habits or address emerging trends,” said Metro GM/CEO Richard Sarles.

Confidentiality for employees who report close calls is critical for success of the pilot. It allows them to report events that would otherwise go unreported, without fear of possible discipline.

The partnership also includes the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research Innovative Technology Administration, to help manage the project and take confidential safety reports from employees.

Beginning this summer, Metro employees who see or experience unsafe conditions can submit a report to BTS. To maintain confidentiality, BTS removes all identifying information, conducts interviews with employees who submit reports, and then presents information about emerging trends and new sources of risks to a joint Metro/Labor committee known as the Peer Review Team. This trained team, which works under a strict confidentiality agreement required by BTS, will meet regularly to establish root causes of reported events and recommend actions Metro should take to stop them from reoccurring.

BTS has more than six years’ experience in the same role for Canadian Pacific Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and New Jersey Transit in the Federal Railroad Administration’s separate and ongoing Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) pilot.

“While reporting will be confidential, this program does not eliminate employee accountability for serious rules violations such as signal adherence,” said Metro Deputy GM, Operations, Rob Troup.

RELATED: Bombardier track safety tech lauded.

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

More News

Daktronics announces $3.2M NYCT signage order

The multi-colored LED displays, part of the subway system’s Public Address Customer Information System, will feature next train arrival and destination information as well as graphical information. A text to speech function aids visually impaired transit riders with clear and easy to access messaging.

Chicago's Metra completes charging station installation

To further enhance the agency’s customer connectivity options, Metra will also be installing free Wi-Fi in the waiting areas of downtown stations within 45 days, and it recently announced plans to test Wi-Fi on 11 cars systemwide before January 2016.

MBTA to deploy GIRO's HASTUS-Rail software

Keolis selected HASTUS-Rail after receiving on-site demonstrations of the software handling various scenarios that showed significant efficiency gains, cost savings and flexibility to adapt to Keolis’ operations, including compliance with the FRA’s hours of service regulations, according to the company.

Wabtec acquires Faiveley Transport

The strategic combination will create one of the world’s largest public rail equipment companies, with revenues of about $4.5 billion and a presence in all key freight rail and passenger transit geographies worldwide. 

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.

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