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Metro official on DOT rail safety panel

A new advisory committee announced by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will assist the Federal Transit Administration in developing national safety standards for rail.

Congress is considering legislation that would authorize the Department of Transportation to create federal safety standards for light rail and subway systems nationwide. The new committee will advise the FTA if the legislation becomes law.

The movement to federalize safety oversight of rail transit gained urgency after the June 22, 2009 Red Line crash, which killed nine people and injured dozens, and reports in The Washington Post that the committee responsible for safety oversight at Metro was ineffective and had little authority.

"While public transit is one of the safest ways to get around, we still experience preventable accidents -- including fatal accidents -- far too frequently," FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said in a statement. "We must take measures to ensure that safety margins are maintained as our systems grow older and experienced workers retire in increasing numbers."

DOT chose 20 transit experts for the advisory committee. Members will include:
-- Bernadette Bridges, executive director of the Office of Safety and Risk Management for the Maryland Transit Administration;
-- James Dougherty, chief safety officer for Metro;
-- William Grizard, staff auditor of the American Public Transportation Association;
-- Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents most Metro employees.

"We have brought together some of the best and brightest minds in the transit industry to focus on new and better ways to keep millions of daily rail transit riders safe," LaHood said.

On Tuesday Senate members said they would begin working on the pending legislation in the coming weeks.

"This bill will help to make public transportation safer for the millions of Americans who commute to work each day," said Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chariman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. "Our bipartisan legislation will, for the first time, put in place a set of strong, comprehensive national safety standards and improve oversight to help ensure public transit remains one of the safest ways to travel."

An FTA audit this spring criticized Metro and the regional committee responsible for safety oversight for extensive lapses. Metro and the Tri-State Oversight Committee responded with plans to implement short- and long-term safety measures to address the deficiencies, including filling vacancies in the safety department at Metro, improving communication and devoting more resources to TOC.

-- Staff reports

By Michael Bolden  | June 23, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Metro, Transportation Politics  
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Comments

Shouldn't the Department of Transportation declare a six month moratorium on travel by rail?

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 23, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the Department of Transportation declare a six month moratorium on travel by rail?

Yes if the trains kept running with no way to stop them.

Posted by: mmad2 | June 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

They have. People died.

Stop the trains now.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

One major saftey concern is the lack of air conditioning on Metro trains. Every evening, it seems there are cars with no air conditioning and people sweltering. Is this yet another budget cut, no air. So much for increasing costs again and again for less and less

Posted by: Parentof3FCPS | June 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

One major saftey concern is the lack of air conditioning on Metro trains. Every evening, it seems there are cars with no air conditioning and people sweltering. Is this yet another budget cut, no air? Keep on increasing the fares and sickening the passengers who have no alternative.

Posted by: Parentof3FCPS | June 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"They have. People died.

Stop the trains now."

Seraphina, people die in car accidents every day too. I guess by your logic we should ban all cars from the road and make everyone walk everywhere. But then someone might sprain an ankle or pull a hammy. Guess we should just lock ourselves in our houses with all the lights off until the world ends.

If you don't have anything constructive to say or a realistic suggestion, why don't you just keep it to yourself.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | June 23, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Until Metro can guarantee the safety of all of it's passengers and end the practice of overheated cattlecars, all trains should be stopped.

How many more have to die?

Guess they don't have a First Amendment at UMD. Facists.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Until carmakers can guarantee the safety of all of a car's passenegers and end the killing, maiming, or injuring of pedestrians and cyclists, all car manufacturing should be stopped. In addition, all cars already on the road should be mandatorily recalled and destroyed.

Yeah, cause that makes about as much sense as selling ice to an eskimo....

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | June 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

So not only does UMD not have a First Amendment, but they also turn out racist pigs? It's Inuit or First Peoples, racist pig.

I'm hoping that "passenegers" is just a misspelling and not an attempt to defame African-Americans in cars. Riding while black IS NOT A CRIME. Murdering passengers is. I guess we need a moratorium on UMD turning out racist pigs too.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 23, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

One year later and we're no safer. I agree. Shut down the Metro system. Move closer to your work.

Posted by: fireball72 | June 23, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Yup, that was just a typo. But I see what YOUR racist mind jumped to first. I believe you are the racisist seraphina, and a f*cking troll. Go back under your bridge.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | June 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I tried to go back under my bridge, but you were too busy teabagging a Metro driver under it, racisist [SIC] pig.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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