Makeover for Metro oversight panel
Crews investigate the scene of a Metro accident near Rockville Station where two track workers died on Jan. 26 after being struck by a maintenance vehicle (By Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post).
The organization responsible for overseeing safety at Metro, the Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), said today it is undergoing a major overhaul in response to a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) audit that found it lacked sufficient authority and independence to be effective.
The TOC outlined comprehensive plans to strengthen its oversight capabilities through additional funding, staff, and training in a 24-page formal response today to the 11 findings from the FTA's March audit.
Virginia, Maryland, and the District each agreed to provide the TOC with $268,000 a year starting in fiscal 2011, and also to provide the TOC with one full-time and one part-time employee, according to letters accompanying the TOC response to the FTA.
The TOC has been criticized by federal lawmakers for its lack of regulatory authority. Safety lapses and the lack of oversight at Metro, including the June 22 Red Line crash that killed nine, prompted the White House to call for federal oversight of subway and light-rail systems nationwide.
The TOC also pledged to provide documentation to the FTA to demonstrate that the TOC is exercising basic oversight responsibilities for Metro, including taking a more aggressive role in investigating accidents and insuring safety standards and corrective actions are carried out.
-- Ann Scott Tyson
May 4, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories: Advisories , Metro , Transportation Politics
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