Our Metro is particularly susceptible to problems because of long-term funding problems. It's easy to complain about the 1000 series cars collapsing in collisions but not so easy to see where the money is going to come from to replace them.
It is easy to blame Metro's management and in some instances its employees, for collisions resulting in significant inuries and wrongful deaths. However, absent a consistent, dependable funding source for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency (WMATA) fixing things and preventing future cataclysms may not be possible
And that is part of the point of today's fine editorial in our favorite hometown paper. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/29/AR2009092902934.html
Because of Metro's anomalous existence; a by-product of the transportation needs of Virginia, Maryland, the District and the federal government, they have had neither consistent funding nor consistent oversight.
The Tri-State oversight committee created by the three local jurisdictions to oversee Metro safety is ignored. When Metro tried a publicity stunt like reconfiguring trains to put 1000 series cars inside more modern, crashworthy cars, the committee wondered if any safety engineering went into this decision. Metro balked at reponding and subsequent revelations have been discomfitting. http://www.maryland-law.com/blog/metro-appearances-can-be-deceiving-or-deceivances-can-be-appearing.cfm
So take the Post seriously Metro, we deserve honest answers so we can have confidence in not only funding our transit system but in also using it.