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Washington Metro

Washington Metro

The Washington Metro

The transit system in Washington, D.C. is often referred to as the Metro or the Metrorail. The rapid transit system in D.C. and surrounding suburbs is the second busiest in the United States behind the New York City Subway.

Security Measures for the Metro

The security at metro stations and on rapid transit lines has dramatically increased in the last decade since September 11. The Metro has strict policies against eating and drinking on trains and buses, but these regulations are controlled by city and county ordinances for the most part.

Security officers at the Washington Metro are allowed to conduct random searches on bags, purses, and other personal items. The random searches at the Metro have occurred for about 4 years, and there have been periods of increased security, such as December of 2010 when police learned of terroristic threats and made several arrests in the area.

Security officers usually swab bags to test for explosives residue or use a trained canine to smell for explosives. If the bag tests positive, the security officer is allowed to x-ray or search the bag. The random searches are allowed to occur because of MacWade v. Kelly, a case that initially allowed random searches to occur at the New York City Subway.

Some of the public has disagreed with the random searches at the Washington Metro, but the security measures are there to protect against crime and terroristic threats.

Washington Metro Accidents

The worst accident in Washington Metro history occurred on June 22, 2009 when two trains collided. A train traveling southbound collided with the back of another train, and nine people died as a result of the accident. More than 70 people were injured as well.

Other accidents have occurred, such as on November 3, 2004, but the accident on June 22, 2009 was the worst to date. Numerous derailments have occurred as well. For example, a derailment occurred on January 7, 2007 and injured about 20 people. Nobody was killed during the derailment, but a large number of passengers had to be rescued. Other derailments have occurred since 2009, and derailments are an unfortunate reality of train systems.

The No Texting Policy

In 2009, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began enforcing a zero tolerance texting policy. The policy was adopted after a deadly train accident occurred in Los Angeles after the train engineer was texting.

Civil Rights

The Washington Metro ensures that all passengers will be treated equally under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to WMATA’s website, the transit system has the following objective:

· make sure all passengers receive equal service regardless of race, color, or national origin

· address all health and environmental concerns, as well as social and economic activities for minority populations and those with low income

· prevent the denial of programs for those with low income and minority populations

· provide programs to persons with limited English proficiency

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