Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement regarding the NTSB report of the derailment that occurred outside of the East Falls Church Metro Station last Friday:
“Today’s revelation from NTSB investigators that Metro had decreased the frequency of inspections, in violation of their own safety standards, on the crossover tracks that led to the July 29th derailment is just one more example of the lack of a safety culture that must be changed.
“Given that Metro has 42 track workers per track mile vs. a 19 track workers average for other transit systems, and they are paid substantially more than other systems, why do we continue to have this substandard, unacceptable performance? As GM Wiedefeld himself has explained before, Metro is spending more and we are getting less. Why?
“I call on GM Wiedefeld to investigate this matter in a thorough and transparent manner so that the public is aware of who made the decisions to decrease critical safety inspections that could have prevented this derailment. I trust he will hold all parties accountable.
“I appreciate the renewed focus that WMATA management is putting on safety, but now we have to see results and that requires a lot more transparency. From a Metro pamphlet shared with employees and staff today: ‘They didn’t tell me’ and ‘We’ve always done it that way’ are excuses that don’t fly any longer at Metro,’ the pamphlet reads. ‘Every employee is expected to use common sense and good judgment. No work rule, collective bargaining agreement, or agency past practice takes precedence over safety.’ I look forward to continuing to work with GM Wiedefeld to ensure that Metro riders have a safe and efficient system that is also cost effective and fair to the taxpayers that subsidize it.”