The Spark

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

D.C. Metro Turns Rush hour into Stop Hour

Feb 4, 2013

Last July about 150 riders fled a stalled, boiling hot Green Line train that had lost power. Since then, Metro claims to have developed a series of protocols to prevent this dangerous situation from happening again.

Well, it happened again last Wednesday when 2,000 riders were again left stranded in the dark and informationless and instructionless on the Green Line. A few hundred riders escaped the trains, walked in the track bed – a dangerous move given that power was live on the other track. But another stopped train was in front of them. Emergency personnel helped them escape through a ventilation shaft.

According to Metro General Manager Richard Sarles, after the power was cut Metro “didn’t follow protocols entirely.” One of the new procedures that Metro supposedly implemented after the July incident was to get more of its personnel on the scene to provide information and instructions to riders.

In the words of one Metro rider about this incident: “Metro officials weren’t telling us what to do or where to go.” Metro put riders in a dangerous situation leaving little choice but for people to self-evacuate.