Metro’s effort to expand cellphone service throughout its 106-mile system has been complicated by the push to make safety upgrades related to the 2009 Red Line crash and now may not be completed until 2015, officials said Tuesday.
In a letter sent to Congress on Tuesday, Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said there is still significant work to be done to ensure wireless access throughout the nation’s second largest subway system. He said the project has required, ” . . . a level of coordination and logistical planning rarely seen in the transit industry.”
As a result, Sarles said Metro is requesting that the deadline for completing the project be extended a second time — to December 2015.
Metro, under a 2008 agreement with Congress, was to have made wireless service available throughout the system this week. But a deal reached last month extended the deadline to March 2013.
Sarles said because of Metro’s focus on safety issues in the aftermath of the crash, which killed nine people and injured scores of others, projects like the effort to expand wireless service has been less of a priority .