The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

D.C. Metro Derailed

Oct 25, 2021

The Washington, D.C.-area subway system, Metro, suddenly withdrew over 700 of its newest railcars, over half its fleet, from service on the morning of October 18 and began operating with only a fraction of its usual number of trains. Half-hour or longer waits for most subway trains, workers late to jobs, children late to schools, commuter traffic even more congested!

A joint D.C., Maryland, and Virginia safety agency had ordered Metro to immediately stop using its 7000 Series Kawasaki railcars after one of them had partially derailed in a Virginia tunnel during rush hour on October 12. Federal investigators found the same car had temporarily derailed twice earlier the same day. Worse, Metro had found the same problem on 31 cars since 2017 and had informed the manufacturer, which had supplied nearly 800 such cars at two million dollars each. But no official held the manufacturer responsible, or did anything to end the problem. Kawasaki has a 3.7 billion dollar contract to provide cars for the New York City subway system. Information was never shared.

In this system, public transportation is seen as a way for public money to enrich private companies. Safety—or an efficient commute—is not the concern under capitalism.