WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding the announcement by WMATA that Metrorail service will be suspended for at least 24 hours beginning tomorrow for emergency safety investigations.
“Metro’s suspension of service during a weekday with minimal notice is simply unacceptable and untenable for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees tourists, students and many others who rely on the system every day. After last year’s deadly smoke incident, I understand General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s decision to suspend service out of an abundance of caution. Regardless, Metrorail is America’s rail system. While there are still many unanswered questions, it is clear that years of underfunding and inconsistent safety oversight have led us to this point. Congress should finally listen to Metro riders and get serious about funding one of the most important transit systems in the world. This suspension of services should never have happened. To label this a “wakeup call” ignores the many other incidents that for years have endangered riders, caused delays and led to shutdowns. I expect Metro to provide detailed updates to Congress and riders about the status of delays and suspensions.”