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WMATA's Catoe reflects on 2007 accomplishments, sets 2008 agenda

Last month, John Catoe celebrated his first anniversary as Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) general manager. He marked the occasion by reflecting on the agency’s accomplishments during the past year and outlining goals for his second year on the job.

Since taking WMATA’s reins, Catoe helped implement additional eight-car trains and a new safety program that aims to cut the number of accidents and injuries in half during the next five years. WMATA had several employee fatalities and a derailment before Catoe came onboard.

He also placed a greater emphasis on system reliability because debris fires and mechanical breakdowns had been causing delays. The authority since has spent more time cleaning track and stations, began testing a track bed screen to catch trash and repaired aging track bed equipment.

The changes have helped boost Metrorail’s reliability by 20 percent, according to WMATA.

This year, Catoe plans to continue focusing on safety and reliability, and securing funding for long-term capital needs. In spring, he will present the agency’s more than $3 billion, 10-year capital program to the board.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/4/2008