One year ago, Metro’s emergency SafeTrack program was at its halfway point and its Back2Good plan to improve safety, service and financial management had just begun. Today, Metro has completed SafeTrack and achieved progress in every Back2Good category.
As a result of actions taken over the past two years since Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer (GM/CEO) Paul J. Wiedefeld joined the organization, there are promising signs that Metro has turned a corner when it comes to safety and reliability.
Back2Good, announced in 2016, was Metro’s plan to improve safety, reduce delays caused by problems with the tracks and railcars, and provide a balanced budget based on what the region can afford. In November, Metro released its last Back2Good customer update, which highlighted several accomplishments, including:
- Nearly nine out of 10 weekday rail customer trips arrived on time in October 2017, compared with just 7 out of 10 in fall 2016
- Customer offloads due to railcar problems down 45%
- 452 new 7000-series railcars have now been delivered, doubling the number
of new trains in the past
- Red signal overruns down 60% in 2017
- Major crime on Metro down 18% through October 2017
Building on these successes, Metro believes it has a path forward, but that it requires a new funding plan. Earlier this year, Wiedefeld released a plan to keep Metro safe, reliable and affordable. The proposal includes $15.5 billion in capital spending over the next 10 years funded through continued federal and jurisdictional support, and a new dedicated funding source to generate $500 million per year. With less than a year of committed capital funding remaining, Metro has stated that failure to act could erase the gains Metro has made through SafeTrack, and perpetuate the unreliable service riders have endured far too long.
Stay tuned as @livemore will be publishing additional Metro updates in subsequent editions.