NTSB recommends reclassifying Metro
“How bad must it be when Metro being taken over by a federal agency sounds like a good idea?”
VA Independent 65 (reader comment)
Metro’s safety problems are so severe and persistent that federal officials should take a much stronger role in monitoring the subway system: reclassifying it as a commuter railroad so the transit agency can be subject to tougher regulations and penalties, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
In an “urgent” recommendation to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the safety board’s chairman, Christopher A. Hart, cited years of “repeated and ongoing deficiencies” in Metro and said the current oversight process, involving the Federal Transit Administration, is inadequate and bound to keep failing.
Hart urged Foxx to ask Congress for the authority to reclassify Metro as a commuter railroad, which would remove the rail system from the FTA’s safety oversight and place it under the “robust inspection, oversight, regulatory, and enforcement authority” of the larger, more powerful Federal Railroad Administration. The reclassification would apply only to the rail system, not the agency as a whole.