Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Transit" ...

  • Drivers Under Siege

    They are not police officers or firefighters, yet Bay Area bus drivers who work for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) face some of the most dangerous working conditions with the fewest protections. Using public records and video footage, our analysis found that bus drivers with AC Transit faced more violent assaults than any other district in the San Francisco Bay Area. After we started asking questions, AC Transit announced it would test out new bus shields to protect drivers and California lawmakers introduced a federal bill in Congress with bipartisan support that will require transit districts across the country to reassess their safety measures. The new law would allocate $25 million a year for five years to pay for shields, de-escalation training, systems for transit agencies nationwide to track assault data and report that data to the Department of Transportation.
  • King County Metro’s Bathroom Reform: Constipated or Incompetent?

    Following a six-month state investigation that concluded King County Metropolitan Transit was not providing bathrooms bus drivers could reach during their breaks, the transit agency made several promises. They included cleaning a troublesome portable at the end of the No. 36 -- its busiest route -- three times weekly, creating a new email address and phone line for operators to report problems, and assigning a staff member to respond to operators’ complaints. Metro broke all of those promises. As a result, a new portable at the end of that No. 36 line overflowed with human waste, making it unusable for more than two weeks.
  • Metro buses: Pedestrians in a blind spot?

    King County Metropolitan Transit District bus collisions with pedestrians grew substantially after schedules were tightened and drivers had less time to recover between trips. Collisions with walkers leaped 35 percent in the past four-plus years. And a group of accidents was disturbingly similar: A Metro bus manufactured by Orion turning left hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk. That model bus has a large pillar on the left-hand side of the windshield, making it difficult for the driver to see walkers while turning.
  • PSTA-Driving Outside the Lines

    An Investigation into the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority showing it knowingly created an illegal plan to use a $354,000 Homeland Security Grant to promote a tax increase. As we got deeper into looking at the agency we found maintenance problems the agency tried to cover up and lie about and drivers on the road who should not have been behind the wheel
  • TriMet Security Secrets

    KATU ‘s On Your Side Investigators face off against the Transportation Security Administration to protect the public’s right to know whether security cameras safeguarding our nation’s mass transit systems actually work. The three month battle – fought in court and on camera, from Portland to Washington, DC - challenged transit officials’ blanket claim that the TSA had classified all camera maintenance and inspection records as ‘SSI’ – Sensitive Security Information, and thus exempt from public record and FOI requests. KATU’s reporting also rewrote the rules for which documents can and can’t be classified as SSI – resulting in a win for public safety, accountability and government transparency – not just in Portland, but for the entire country.
  • Cashing in on Congressional Connections

    The Better Government Association investigated the lobbying business of a recently retired Illinois congressman, Jerry Costello, who represented a downstate district along with transportation interests as a member of key transportation committees. The investigation found that in his first year out of Congress, Costello lined up lucrative clients. He received $10,000 a month to lobby for Boeing, whose interests as a government contractor he promoted while in Washington, and $7,000 a month to lobby for a transit district that benefited from his help in securing millions of dollars in federal funding.
  • Injured Heroes, Broken Promises

    This six-month-long investigation uncovered complaints from hundreds of injured, active duty soldiers who say they were mistreated, harassed and verbally abused by commanders of the U.S. Army’s Warrior Transition Units, or WTUs, which were created to improve care for injured soldiers after the 2007 Walter Reed scandal. Through interviews with wounded soldiers and hundreds of pages of Army records obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request, our reports showed how soldiers at three WTUs in Texas, particularly soldiers with mental wounds, were subjected to harsh treatment from unit leaders who were supposed to guide them through the healing process. Soldiers describe commanders using drill sergeant style threats, intimidation and demeaning language in an apparent attempt to motivate the injured. Video link: https://vimeo.com/116104924
  • Returning Home to Battle

    Returning Home to Battle was a yearlong campaign of coverage by The Center for Investigative Reporting that examined conditions greeting veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. CIR’s investigation had two main areas of emphasis, each identifying major shortcomings in the two major federal bureaucracies created to help veterans: VA healthcare and VA benefits. The first uncovered nearly 1,000 preventable deaths in VA hospitals in the decade after the 9/11 terrorists attacks. The second revealed widespread profiteering off GI Bill, the landmark education benefit to help veterans of the current wars transition back into civilian life.
  • How NJ Transit Failed Sandy's Test

    On the weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange – or dry. So keeping the trains in its centrally-located Meadows Maintenance Complex and the nearby Hoboken yards seemed prudent. And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong. If officials had entered the right numbers, they would have predicted what actually happened: a storm surge that engulfed hundreds of rail cars, some of them brand new, costing over $120 million in damage and thrusting the system’s passengers into months of frustrating delays. But the fate of NJ Transit’s trains – over a quarter of the agency’s fleet - didn’t just hang on one set of wrong inputs. It followed years of missed warnings, failures to plan, and lack of coordination under Governor Chris Christie, who has expressed ambivalence about preparing for climate change while repeatedly warning New Jerseyans not to underestimate the dangers of severe storms.
  • Money, Power and Transit

    This ongoing inewsource investigation into a public transit system that serves 12 million passengers a year by bus and rail exposed perils to public safety, mismanagement of millions of public dollars and perhaps most egregious: enduring bureaucratic arrogance in the face of public scrutiny. Over the course of a year, inewsource produced more than 30 stories, radio broadcasts, TV features, and interviews. We experimented with new levels of transparency in our reporting and storytelling. We spent thousands of dollars pursuing public information and battling regular retraction demands. The series drew from a multitude of inside sources, leaked documents, hard-fought public records, emails, and other materials to unearth the truth about what’s going wrong inside the San Diego’s North County Transit District. Our stories have drawn intense fire from the district’s legal department — all the while those responsible to the taxpayers and the transit riders have consistently refused to respond to interview requests or to answer specific written questions.