Sunday, December 10, 2006

Whoops! WMATA needs to learn math...

Friendship Heights MD - The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has an expensive mess on its hands. The Washington Post has an article on the WMATA Friendship Heights bus terminal which recently underwent a half million dollar renovation and resulted in a lower ceiling level than the terminal previously had so many of Metro's buses no longer fit.

The result of nobody paying attention is that WMATA may have to abandon the terminal and spend millions more in taxpayer money to build a new terminal.

WMATA officials claim that Federal regulations for a new terminal would set the ceiling level to be slightly over 14 feet above the road. The defense WMATA officials are using for this royal screw up is that the Federal regulations for new terminals didn't cover rehabilitation of old terminals. They also claim that they relied on 1980 plans to do the rehabilitation of the Friendship Heights terminal. Ummm, the project started in 2004 so why were you using 20 year old plans?

Also, how many brain cells does it take to figure out that if a third of your fleet is over 12 feet tall (and more coming in the future that are taller than 12 feet) that the ceiling of the terminal needs to be higher than 12 feet?

WMATA, the architect as well as the contractor messed up badly on this and each receive a Lance for their lack of attention to the details. Nobody was on top of what was going on and the result will cost millions more in taxpayer dollars to correct a problem that should never have happened in the first place.

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