• Express poll asks if John Catoe should be fired

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by NellieBly
 
I'm not sure I understand why Catoe still has his job. That track circuit was acting up for more than a year, and they had had previous incidents (including a train that ran past a platform) in the same area, and nobody thought it was worthy of investigation.

Now they're single traacking every night due to "track circuit replacement". Neither WMATA nor NTSB could figure out *why* the track circuit was "fluttering", so they're now just ripping everything out and starting over, apparently.
  by tommyboy6181
 
This would be an interesting question:

Who is/was worse as GM: Dick White or John Catoe? It's a tough question to answer because White did some incredibly stupid things. Tangherlini seemed to be a step in the right direction, and then with Catoe, who knows...
  by Mirai Zikasu
 
I used to be extremely critical of Mr. Catoe two years ago. I seemed to run into frequent delays and breakdowns in my daily commutes (in fairness, much of the problems were thanks to the neglect under Mr. White), I was annoyed at the agency's policy to raise fares to cover the budget deficit rather than launch a campaign to lobby state and federal governments to increase funding, the proposals to reroute part of the Blue Line and/or reduce late night service, and most of all, the aesthetic direction of the system with the increasingly sterile new designs in cars, a bizarre relighting project at Foggy Bottom--one of my home stations--and the introduction of the horrible Randi Miller recordings. (I apologize as I know it to be beating a dead horse, but the stupid new recordings still drive me nuts.)

I changed my opinion over that time as it seemed that reliability has increasing significantly. The proposals regarding the Blue Line and late night service cuts never came to fruition. Also, there have been some very much appreciated improvements such as the creation of the 31 Bus last year, the bus to rail transfer discount, and the program to replace the underground station chillers. I'm still not keen over the aesthetic downgrades WMATA plans on Metrorail with the sterile interior designs and boring no-stripe exteriors, but for whatever bad ideas the Catoe Administration has had for Metrorail, I've thought their new New Flyer bus fleet and recent refurbishments to be very tasteful.

Frankly, I don't know what to think about the administration after the Fort Totten accident. I remember hearing that safety supervisor Whats-his-name had been temporarily reassigned after the incident...and has since resumed his post. I don't know what to think about Mr. Catoe and his role with it. Sadly, I suspect that even if he were to be thrown out, the yahoos on the Board of Directors would be hard-pressed to choose a candidate who would do an extreme clean sweep of the organization rather than someone politically uncontroversial and complacent with the current officials. Hopefully, I'm wrong in this thought, but I don't know what to think about WMATA after the Fort Totten accident, especially if there are any more late-breaking stories of flukes in the system or overlooked safety issues.
  by SchuminWeb
 
tommyboy6181 wrote:This would be an interesting question:

Who is/was worse as GM: Dick White or John Catoe? It's a tough question to answer because White did some incredibly stupid things. Tangherlini seemed to be a step in the right direction, and then with Catoe, who knows...
Yeah, Tangherlini was definitely a step in the right direction, but Metro fooled around too long in getting around to offering him the post permanently and lost him. So it seems no one is beyond Metro's incompetence...
  by realtype
 
"Dan the Man" Tangherlini was definitely the right guy for the job. Catoe has been screwing over the system. Sometimes I think a lot of Metro's problems stem from funding issues, but I can't help but wondering that Tangherlini would have handled the situation better.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Yeah, I also tend to think that Tangherlini was the right person for the job, but that Metro screwed itself over by letting him get away. I also kind of wonder how Tangherlini would have handled X situation, but unfortunately, he's gone, and it's not likely we'll ever get him back.
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
Some board members ought to fire themselves, the GMs are just doing what they can for their bosses under the circumstances. The GMs might also have a better track record if they actually had a dedicated source of funding to work with.
  by Nasadowsk
 
WMATAGMOAGH wrote:The GMs might also have a better track record if they actually had a dedicated source of funding to work with.
Lack of funding's a poor excuse for unsafe operation. If it's not safe, it shouldn't run, regardless of the 'reasons' why.
  by tommyboy6181
 
I agree with the board members voting themselves out. Good suggestion.

However, we did have another track worker get hit by a train and was hurt seriously earlier today. This accident happened between National Airport and Braddock Rd. Apperently the employee's job function is to work on the communications network.

Link: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/P ... aseID=4051
  by Mirai Zikasu
 
tommyboy6181 wrote:I agree with the board members voting themselves out. Good suggestion.
Now, any suggestions on how to convince the board of directors how brilliant the idea is?
  by SchuminWeb
 
Not necessarily - remember that Dick White was fired with a few years left on his contract. However, considering how the board was reported as saying how wonderful Catoe is with the exception of Neil Albert, I doubt such a thing will be the case.
  by realtype
 
I agree that the entire board should be replaced. Just the fact that they extended Catoe's contract shows how incompetent they are. At least every week I hear about more problems with Metro. This week it was Metro admitting that they didn't do engineering or technical analysis on the very questionable move of putting the 1000-series in the center of the trains. Of course Metro's biggest recurring goof is stopping all the trains at the end of the platform. If the employees can't get it right, they need to go. They know where to stop the trains in New York or Boston.

Come to think of it, I can't think of a single positive thing that Catoe has done for the Metro system, besides the 8-car trains (which started testing in Dan's era). The removal of carpet, the ugly platform lights, the "lean pads," the stopping at the end of the platform, the fatal accidents, suicides, failure to warn people of major closures, the annoying door chimes, a dumb idea of operating 4-car off-peak trains in the winter, and the extreme raise in rail fares (with none for bus) are just a few ways Catoe has screwed up Metro. Yeah, Metro has money problems, but it also has management problems.
  by Sand Box John
 
"SchuminWeb"
Not necessarily - remember that Dick White was fired with a few years left on his contract. However, considering how the board was reported as saying how wonderful Catoe is with the exception of Neil Albert, I doubt such a thing will be the case.


It is my understanding that Neil Albert is a supporter of John Catoe. From what I heard on The Politics Hour last Friday on WAMU, Mr. Albert was instructed by Mayor Adrian Fenty to vote no on the renewal of Mr. Catoe contract. Neil Albert like the rest of the members of the board serve at the pleasure of the elected bodies that appointed them.