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Metro Admits That Emergency Intercoms On Certain Trains Did Not Work

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Emergency intercoms on Metro allow passengers to alert operators to any problems, but they have not been working on certain trains.
Emergency intercoms on Metro allow passengers to alert operators to any problems, but they have not been working on certain trains.

Metro admits emergency call buttons on certain trains have not been working for years, but says it is fixing the problem.

On Wednesday Metro confirmed what riders have been complaining about for years: faulty emergency intercom systems. The red intercom buttons are intended to help riders alert Metro about potential emergencies: a fight, a robbery or a sick passenger.

In a statement, the transit agency says it identified the source of the problem—apparently caused when certain rail cars are paired together.

Metro says it rearranged the cars overnight to fix the problem and is now conducting "spot-checks" on intercom systems while trains are in service.

An email from November 2011 provided to WAMU shows an exchange between a Metro spokesperson and a rider asking about faulty intercom systems on some trains. The spokesperson told the rider Metro would look into it.

Earlier this week passengers on a Red Line train complained that they were not able to contact an operator using the intercom after a fight broke out near the Woodley Park station.

The statement released yesterday by the transit agency says it's also investigating whether it should've caught the problem sooner.


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