A lot of bad press for WMATA, these latest incidents have been all over the national media. Sadly, the phrase "Metro Fail" has apparently become OK usage in national media headlines.
Metro has taken one positive step, finally making it a fireable offense to use a cell phone while operating a train or bus. According to General Manager John Catoe, "One strike and you're out. It's plain, simple and strong. Is it a tough policy? Absolutely. That's what I want."
Correction, John. That's what you want now that people are paying attention to WMATA, and it's becoming evident that operators aren't always paying attention. Why wasn't it what you wanted six months ago? A year ago? What about after the crash in Boston or the 25 dead in Los Angeles--both due to texting? Those weren't enough of a wake-up call? Oh, that's right, Metro doesn't pay attention to other transit systems.
This all at the same time as the District pulls the plug on $50 million in funding for Metro. So much for that dedicated funding stream. Of course the DC budget is in shambles, but by stopping the $50 million, $150 million in federal government matching funds would be lost. Well, except for the fact that the $150 million, while authorized, were not included in President Obama's budget.
Keeps getting better and better.