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WMATA at center of DC Council oversight hearing after recent violent incidents

The D.C. Council's Committee on Transportation and the Environment have a lot to discuss at Friday's meeting.

WASHINGTON — Metro will be center stage at Friday's DC Council oversight hearing on the heels of multiple recent violent incidents.

The D.C. Council's Committee on the Environment and Transportation is holding the hearing at 9:30 a.m.

For many in D.C., the safety of Metro is top of mind. Just days ago, a man was dragged to death at the Dunn Loring station when his service dog’s leash got caught in the train door.

Some were asking how there wasn’t a sensor to prevent that.

This past Tuesday, a WMATA employee was laid to rest after he was killed trying to intervene when a shooter opened fire at the Potomac Avenue station. Three others were injured in that incident.

There have been shootings at other stations this year, including one that killed a teenager at the Congress Heights stop in January.

Beyond those incidents, WMATA has been dealing with the safety of the trains themselves.

They safety commission just cleared them to move to Phase 3 of reinstating their 7000 series trains a month ago.

This comes after a Blue line train derailed in 2021 and the National Transportation Safety Board found defects they needed to fix.

Beyond safety concerns with WMATA, the committee will also be discussing environmental initiatives, like the electric bus plan.

This committee has a new chair, too -- Ward 6 councilmember Charles Allen. He used to be in charge of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

He's used to talking about violent incidents from his time chairing that committee, but this new role is also forcing him to deal with other big safety challenges.

The following people are scheduled as witnesses:

  • Taalib-Din Uqdah, Northern Busbarn Neighbors
  • Matthew Girardi, Political and Communications Organizer, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689
  • Rajan Sadilia, Public Witness
  • Trupti Patel, Commissioner, ANC 2A03
  • Caitlin Rogger, Executive Director, DC Sustainable Transportation Coalition 2
  • Sari Amiel, Associate Attorney, Sierra Club
  • Elliot Negin, Co-Director, Metro Electric Bus Coalition
  • Laura Miller Brooks, Director of Transportation & Infrastructure, Federal City Council
  • Rico Dancy, Public Witness
  • Kishan Putta, Commissioner, ANC 2E01
  • Jeff Rueckgauer, Commissioner, ANC 2B02
  • Fritz Mulhauser, Co-chair, Legal Committee, DC Open Government Coalition
  • Randy Clarke, General Manager, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

You can watch the hearing live here.

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