By David Schultz
Metro commissioned David Gunn to do a comprehensive audit of the system after a string of accidents and safety lapses. Gunn is a veteran of the transit industry who served as Metro's General Manager in the early 1990s.
Peter Benjamin, chairman of Metro's Board of directors, describes Gunn's report as "sobering."
According to a summary released by Metro, the report criticizes a mindset there that Gunn describes as "kill the messenger." Gunn says Metro workers are fearful of alerting their superiors to safety problems.
Benjamin says this report shows Metro's problems run deep.
"Our problem is not just technological, it's not just training. It is, in fact, much broader than that," says Benjamin. "It reaches to the culture, and the fact that all of us need to live safely. And we have to be accepting of people bringing safety issues up and saying 'I'm concerned about something.'"
The Gunn report comes on the heels of a Metro audit by the Federal Transit Administration. It said Metro's safety office had been marginalized and didn't have access to crucial data about subway operations.