Press Releases

Warner Responds to GAO Report on Metro

Calls for management changes at transit agency

Jul 15 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) management of the Metro system’s finances and safety operations:  

“Today’s report is another stark reminder that there has been a serious failure of leadership at Metro, and that improving the system’s safety and finances will require strong management to turn the system around.

“Let me reiterate what I said last month when the Federal Transit Administration released its alarming report about Metro safety: The Metro Board needs to work together with a sense of urgency to bring on a change agent as General Manager who will shake up the system and prioritize safety, accountability and transparency. Metro’s riders are tired of waiting for these problems to be fixed.”

Sen. Warner has on several previous occasions stressed the need for systemic fixes to the Metro system. On Jan. 22, following a congressional briefing by WMATA executives and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) officials investigating the fatal smoke incident onboard a Metro train at L’Enfant station, Sen. Warner wrote to COG and WMATA, asking the regional oversight boards to work together to design a more robust and transparent process for ensuring the interoperability of radio networks used by the region’s emergency responders. In response to Warner’s request, COG and WMATA pledged to implement a system for testing of Metro and regional emergency radio systems in order to address the breakdown in communications that was identified following the fatal incident on Jan. 12.

Last month, following a critical NTSB report, Sen. Warner and the National Capital Region congressional delegation called on WMATA to take immediate action to fix a serious safety issue resulting from improperly installed power connector assemblies throughout the Metrorail system.