Security and Safety

WMATA report finds rail station managers unprepared for emergencies

Posted on September 27, 2017

Ben Schumin
Ben Schumin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) station managers, who are responsible for observing, inspecting, and overseeing the system’s 91 stations, are ill-equipped to respond to emergencies, according to a new report that says inspectors found inoperative flash lights, expired first aid materials, and myriad inconsistent mechanisms for unlocking emergency lock boxes in a review of 19 stations over the summer, The Washington Post reports.

The report by WMATA’s quality control team found some of the surveillance monitors inside the stations weren’t functioning “for an extended period of time” for reasons unbeknownst to station managers, compromising their ability to observe the stations from the glass-enclosed booths where they also monitor radios. The review concluded WMATA did not properly inform station managers the equipment was being updated, although WMATA noted the cameras remained operational and the footage could be viewed from other locations.

The report included a number of recommendations, namely ramping up the number of “spot-checks” to verify station managers are carrying out their job responsibilities. WMATA also committed to ensuring stations are stocked with the proper documentation, employees are briefed on their record-keeping requirements, and emergency equipment and supplies were available to them and customers, after the report found deficiencies in each of those areas. For the full story, click here.

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