May 06, 2016

Warner, Kaine Statement On Announcement By WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following joint statement today on Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s announcement that Metrorail service will undergo a year-long overhaul to fix systemic safety problems. 

“For years, we have been waiting to see a take-charge management plan to deal with Metro’s safety issues and we appreciate the General Manager’s release of a proposed repair plan today that grasps the urgency of the situation. This plan may not be welcome news for the hundreds of thousands of area residents whose daily commutes will be disrupted, but a bold and serious approach to improving Metro safety is necessary after years of neglected maintenance. Our constituents deserve better than tolerating the new normal of near-daily smoke incidents, power outages, arcing insulators and related service disruptions. 

“We urge the WMATA Board to give this plan serious consideration and put in place an approach that yields tangible benefits in the coming weeks and months.  Only by showing results can we as a delegation step forward and advocate for a continued federal role in funding improvements to the system. It is clear that more work needs to be done to ensure alternative transit options are in place for impacted lines, and we strongly urge WMATA and the local jurisdictions to agree on those arrangements as soon as possible so that our constituents know their commuting options.”