Riders suffered through another train derailment on Metro this week. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Metro was already receiving criticism for its “Back2Good” PR campaign and its expenditure on an ad that ran during the college football national championship game last week.
The ad is part of a larger $7 million marketing budget which many critics say should be spent to improve the system instead. Once escalators work and trains run safely and on time, riders will be more likely to come back, they argue.
Metro is also fighting a lawsuit brought by its union over the arbitrations proceedings for 16 track inspectors who were fired for falsifying safety reports. The falsified reports came to light after an investigation of a 2016 derailment.
According to union lawyers, the firings could not take place because they were not done fast enough. Terminations more than six months after the alleged actions took place is an apparent violation of the union contract with Metro. The lawsuit is a reminder that the union contract, and resulting labor costs, is another obstacle to reform.
Of course, the list could go on and on. The question is, at what point will everyone say enough is enough?
There have been many suggestions out there to change the trajectory of the transit agency. They range from essentially declaring bankruptcy and dissolving Metro altogether so we can start over to writing Metro a blank check for billions of dollars.
Northern Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock (R) introduced a bill in December that represents a middle ground. Metro would receive a 50 percent increase in federal funds to be matched by the other jurisdictions.
Under the proposal, there would be no federal funds available until D.C., Maryland and Virginia agreed to the creation of a new five-member reform board.
Other conditions include reducing the size of the permanent WMATA Board to nine and creating a direct line of accountability to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It also calls for long-term reforms of the union contract, including the employee retirement system for new hires.
Whether everyone agrees with the Comstock approach, or thinks they can improve upon it, it is time for specific action on reform. This is an opportunity for the County Board to show leadership on an issue where we have a clear financial stake.
The Board should adopt a formal position on what reforms they believe need to take place in exchange for ongoing funding of Metro and include that language as part of this year’s budget process.
In honor of its new breakfast menu, Clarendon eatery Bar Ivy is offering free coffee this week to customers who buy their new bagel sandwiches. The RAMMY-nominated restaurant, which opened…
After nearly three years of waiting, the Crystal City Water Park is slated to reopen next week, JBG Smith announced yesterday. The newly renovated, privately owned 1.6-acre park will feature…
Arlington has seen the greatest growth in people living alone of 342 U.S. cities. That’s according to a new study by the website SmartAsset, which examined census data between 2016…
Route 50 Trail Funding Sought — “County Board members on Sept. 23 included a request for up to $4 million to build the trail, which would run on the south…
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
The Kinhaven 5K and Family Fest is the family-friendly race of the fall. Runners, walkers, and stroller pushers hit the trail while family members enjoy the fan zone including moonbounce, face painting, music, snacks, and games.
Proceeds support outdoor education and fitness programming.
Early Bird Registration rates through September 30 at runkinhavendotcom!
Live standup comedy starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)
Friday, October 20
Headliner: John F. O’Donnell
John was a correspondent on the radical comedy news TV show, “Redacted Tonight,” for 5 years. Recently, he released his debut one-hour standup special,