Three Ways to Report to WMATA

Photo by mymetrostop via flickr

We posted this last year but in the spirit of Public Transit Awareness Month, we though we should re-post information about the different ways you can report an incident to WMATA.

Now, we know that WMATA hasn’t had the best track record of taking sexual harassment and assault incidents seriously (and we’ll be exploring the problem on the blog next week) but we still encourage to community to file reports. After all, the more we report, the hard it is for WMATA to ignore that this is a problem they need to address.

Here are three ways you can report to WMATA:

1) If you are sexually harassed or assaulted by a Metro employee:

Take the name of the employee, record the date, time and location of the incident and report it the customer service department, at 800-637-7000 or online at

According to WMATA: “When an incident is reported, a case file is created and the information is sent to the head of the Division for the employee in question.  We will conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action.  Harassment is not acceptable, please do not tolerate it, take action and report it, so that we can take action as well.”

Even if you don’t get the name of the employee (seems like a lot of trouble to us) and you still want to report, we fully encourage you to.  That way WMATA will know their employees are sexually harassing riders.

2) If you are groped, witness public masturbation/indecent exposure or are assaulted, threatened or stalked while riding the Metro:

Go to the metro kiosk and ask for help or call the Metro Transit Police at  (202) 962-2121 from your cell phone or the call box that’s located in each metro car.  Metro Transit Police deal with incidents that occur on the platform,  Metro cars, and Metro parking lots and garages.

3) If you experience verbal sexual harassment on WMATA trains or buses (or if you don’t feel like reporting a physical assault to the police), write WMATA a complaint.  Let them know that this is a problem and it is time they did something about it.

Submit your complaint to WMATA online.

If you have filed a report with WMATA, we’d love to hear what the outcome was.  Help us hold WMATA accountable by sharing your experience.

5 Responses

  1. Nigerian Sista

    Well I reported an incident involving rude/harassment behavior by one of the metro employees so I’ll have to keep this website updated on the outcome of the incident… I’ll copy the complaint.
    I would like to file a complaint against a metro employee. This incident
    occured in 2008, but I am coming foward now. The main reason is because I
    eventually stopped taking the metro because I was so tired of being harassed by
    metro empoloyees and metro male passengers. I havent’t taken the train in
    almost a year and now I’m watching the news and I’m seeing more and more people
    being scared and traumatized by taking metro. I have to come forth now. My
    incident occured on December 22, 2008 around approximately around 12:00-1:00 in
    the afternoon. The location was New Carrolton Station on the bottom floor. I
    came into the station and was adding money to my farecard. I was having trouble
    with my farecard at the time and one of the (2) employees in the kiosk came to
    help me. By the time he came over to help me. I already had it figured it out
    and didn’t need his help. He asked me if I needed help and I said I wasn’t
    having a good day and that I didn’t need his help. He then came back and said
    that he was trying to help me. I then told him that I already had it figured
    out. He then ,mocked me, “oh you got it”? I said yeah. He then told me that I
    should smile that it’s Christmas time (completly out of line and
    innapropriate). He then said Santa Claus doesn’t like evil people. I told him
    that that’s why he doesn’t have to deal with it and that’s why he could walk
    away. He turned around and asked me why what did I say? He tried to be
    confrontational. I then told him that that’s why he could just go back to his
    job. He walked away. He was waiting for me by the kiosk and when I went though
    the slot machine he then publicly humiliated and told yelled at me, “you will be
    treated how you’re attitude is!” The fact that this metro employee felt bold
    and comfortable enough to speak to me like this in front of people while he was
    working shows a lack of professionaliasm and shows me that their may not be
    strict policies against customer harassment, otherwise he wouldn’t have done
    it. That is a problem. Myself and other customers use our money to ride the
    train and the last thing we need is unprofessionalism workers taking their
    personal insecurities out on women who are riding the train, it’s deplorable and
    pathetic. I don’t know his name but he was one of the two employees on the
    first floor and he looked to be the younger one. He was in his 20s (by
    appearance) and was slim and brown skinned African American male. I also think
    that this was a racial issue because I am an African woman and based on what
    I’ve seen I don’t think he would have been bold enough to try this with a woman
    who may have been white, hispanic, asian, etc. He brought a certain level of
    crass behavior and spoke to me as if he has a natural right to speak to me that
    way just because I’m a woman of color. This is unnaceptable and metro should
    screen their empolyees better. I am also going to forward this message to the
    mayor and other organizations because enough is enough. Metro employees have
    done just about everything to me and other female riders (except actually touch
    us) and it’s time to speak up. I don’t think any employee should get PAID to
    harass and humilate women while he himself is working.

  2. Golden Silence

    Story of a station manager trying to holla at a female passenger: Station Manager’s Advance Creeps Out Rider (Unsuck DC Metro)

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t filed a report with WMATA, but I did email a complaint to Washington Post Express about one of their vendors at a Metro station who was harassing me. He would follow me into the station with a running commentary about my body. After my complaint, he wasn’t reassigned or fired but he did stop harassing me. Of course, the times I confronted him in front of Metro employees at the station they just stood there and did nothing. Once, one of them laughed. This makes me wonder, do only Metro Police have the responsibility (or training) to deal with harassment or are regular Metro employees expected to play a role?

  4. Nigerian Sista

    Golden Silence, I don’t know what kind of training metro employees are given but they don’t use it. From what I have observed many of them see their job as an opportunity to force an interaraction with woman who often times don’t want to be bothered. I have so many stories but I remember another one where this one metro guy seemed to be completly infatuated with me. He even followed me onto an otherwise empty train one night (I guess he was getting off). I guess he was too scared to say anything to me. Anyways he constantly would stare at me (he worked at the station by my house) and just make these weird faces. Well one day he saw me speaking to this other metro employee. This other metro employee was a bit older than (in his 30s) and had kindly offered to take me home one night when I was walking home from the station (I couldn’t afford a cab at the time) . This older metro employee never asked me for my number or anything. He was just a married gentleman who wanted to get a woman home safely. Anyways as the first metro employee saw myself and the older metro employee speak in passing on several occasions, I guess this upset him. One day he saw me and the older metro emplyee talking and just came right over to us looked at me, and said, “I’m tired of the ugly broads on the train!” and walked off with a smirk on his face. Can you imagine? Then had the never to continue to watch and stare at me afterwards. Metro has some insecure males working for them lol!

  5. Sorry Operator

    i Have filed a complaint about an operator who was in uniform ati the time of the incident was usinf his cell phone to make threats to me that he was going to contact my husbandd because I no longer wanted to be bothered with him. I called and filed a complaint, contacted Metro police and well as took out a restraining order, however he is close with the Superintendant Kathy Smith at his division so I got no response or no outcome of any displinary action and when complaints are filed they should at least get back with the person who filed to give the outcome.