WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Mounting concerns for morning commuters and the new general manager of Metro is responding to concerns voiced by riders. His comments come after another instance of violence.
Commuters are understandably concerned after a shooting Thursday afternoon at the L’enfant Plaza Station.
WMATA General Manager Randy Clarke took to Twitter Thursday night to praise the quick arrest of the man charged with assault with a deadly weapon writing in part,”
“This type of criminal behavior on Metro will not be tolerated. We will continue to enhance our security operations to provide a safe system for our customers and staff.”
Metro Transit Police say the shooting happened around 4 o’clock on Thursday afternoon. One woman was hurt but did not go to the hospital. The extent of her injuries is not known. A suspect is in custody, but the motive is still unclear as of Friday morning.
Last month, two people were stabbed in the Metro Center Station. One man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. A woman was also hurt in the attack. Metro police were able to arrest a dc man through the surveillance cameras in the stations.
Some riders on social media say WMATA is not doing enough to enforce Metro safety policies. Deidre Jackson rides the metro every day and has for the last 13 years. She says an increased police presence could deter incidents at Metro, but questions how an entity can prepare for violent acts like shootings and stabbings.
“I think that question, are they doing enough? I think they’re doing a lot could they do more? I don’t know how you prepare for a one-off incident,” Jackson said. “But I do think it’d be helpful to have police riding on the metro themselves, not just being on the platform because you have bad behavior happening as the train is moving. I think having a police presence in the stations would be helpful.”
Randy Clarke is also apologizing to a woman who says she had ice cream thrown at her. Clarke says he takes these issues seriously and that Metro is working to address issues like these by enhancing transit police and staff deployment and visibility. But other riders say the blame should not fall solely on WMATA and Metro. Bobby Bonner rides the metro every day and says unruly riders are also at fault.
“I have no problem riding the metro system, it has nothing to do with Metro. It’s the people that seem to be going crazy lately,” Bonner explained. “This is happening all over the world, so there’s nothing new, we should not be surprised what’s going on.”
Some riders have even taken to Twitter saying that they don’t ride the metro anymore and have even recommended people avoid it when visiting the city. Others say that violence and harassment have become normal on the metro and have tried to ignore it and move on.