Letter to the Editor: WMATA’s leadership is the problem

Letter to the Editor: WMATA’s leadership is the problem
The Potomac Yard Metro station has been delayed in opening. (File photo)

To the editor:

Amanda Wilcox’s letter about the hardships Metro’s summer-long segment closure next year will foist on Alexandria’s transit-dependent residents forces us to look to the root causes of Metro’s many issues. Some blame Metro’s workers, while others fault funding, but the real problem is WMATA’s board, on which Councilman Paul Smedberg has sat for the past two and-a-half years. WMATA blamed everyone except themselves for Metro’s woes, whereas the record is lately becoming clear: the problem with Metro is the folks in charge.

DASH riders whose routes don’t go by Metro stations have to add money to their Metro-issued cards at CVS drug stores. CVS tried getting WMATA to fix the in-store equipment WMATA had provided to CVS to no avail, despite months of trying. Only when CVS made a highly publicized decision to discontinue did WMATA step up to finally fix the equipment.

This same dysfunction surely permeates WMATA’s decision to close Alexandria’s metro stations next summer, despite a lengthy closure a few years back when Metro failed to fix these problems (or even properly fix the ones WMATA worked on, according to federal overseers).

Voters need to ask themselves how much they can rely on a WMATA leadership more willing to burden tens of thousands of riders, who have jobs to travel to and children to fetch from day care, than to manage competently. Only when voters start voting out folks responsible for representing them on WMATA’s board will things improve.

-Dino Drudi, Alexandria