Riders, workers and taxpayers should not have to be on the hook to make up for WMATA leadership’s consistent lack of preparation and vision. If WMATA has its way, the public will solely take on the responsibility of repairing the system by enduring planned fare increases, service cuts, increased train wait times, and layoff of employees. WMATA’s constant mistakes come with a cost.
The members of ATU Local 689 are proud of the progress we have achieved after years of calling for the repair of long deferred maintenance. However, the lack of proper planning, and wasted millions on contractors with histories of performing shoddy work, demonstrate that the priorities of a safe, reliable and affordable system were not adequately addressed. The GAO now joins other federal agencies, including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in calling out the poor decisions of WMATA leadership. In the future, we expect WMATA to engage with its workforce and do research to find the best practices before making such consequential decisions.