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Today's read: Feds take on Metro

Senators warn transit authority: In a letter to Metro's board, four senators said Metro has suffered "an institutional failure." They called for changes and said the federal government should consider all possible options to ensure the transit system's safety, including direct federal intervention in the operation of the system. (Joe Stephens and Lena H. Sun)

Tuesday also marks the start of the National Transportation Safety Board hearings on the June 22 Red Line crash.

The hearings will lead to a report on what caused the crash and what should be done to make sure it doesn't happen again. The senators' letter will lead nowhere helpful. It's fine for Congress to run the subway under the Capitol to shuttle representatives and senators around. It would be quite another thing for Congress to operate the nation's second busiest subway system, which takes passengers on more than 700,000 trips a day.

Meanwhile, the Senate is on a more useful track: considering a proposal to have the federal government regulate the safety of the nation's subway and light-rail systems, including Metro. All transit systems need the oversight. But if you think the transit authority leadership is distant and unresponsive now, would you really feel better having Metro run from Capitol Hill?

By Robert Thomson  |  February 23, 2010; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Metro , Safety , Transportation Politics  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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if it means a safer system, a more user friendly system, stations not closing on holidays, & major portions of the system not being affected by 8 inches of snow, then yes!

Posted by: Hattrik | February 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Federal intervention would be welcome. With the Pentagon being a major user of the system, how about having the Army run it?

Posted by: member5 | February 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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