Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority SafeTrack Project

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Type:  Project Management Lessons Learned

Publisher:  U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Construction/Project Management, Strategic Planning

A number of well publicized accidents involving the Washington Metrorail system occurred in the decade leading up to 2016. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the local agency responsible for operating the transit system, responded by implementing the SafeTrack project in May 2016. This project was a large-scale rehabilitation of the track system and other safety systems used in the nation's second busiest metro subway system. A review by the GAO discovered issues with the front end planning of the project including a lack of analysis and collection of asset data, an insufficient analysis of alternatives performed and no project management plan developed prior to the start of the project. Also, it was reported that there was a lack of stakeholder involvement and communication prior to commencing repairs. However, as the project progressed, significant improvement in the management of the project were noted along with much better communication with stakeholders of impending service disruptions. There were numerous lessons learned generated from the execution of the SafeTrack project.

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