The new chief safety officer for Washington, D.C.’s beleaguered Metrorail system has promised an aggressive revamp of the agency’s safety culture, correcting deficiencies that have resulted in deaths and injuries to passengers and workers and significantly compromised the 40-year-old network’s infrastructure.
Lavin also promised a more “holistic approach” to probing Metro safety issues, including determining if the recent uptick in arcing insulators and similar problems stem from poor maintenance work or are equipment-related. Other goals include rectifying systemwide worker-protection lapses and ensuring full compliance with U.S. construction-zone safety mandates. Metro also began the first of 15 “safety surges” planned for the next year as part of a $60-million accelerated infrastructure maintenance program, called SafeTrack. It targets specific areas for 24/7 repair that also require major service reductions.