Metro is placed under federal supervision
Metro is the first U.S. subway system placed under direct federal supervision for safety lapses under a plan announced by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Day-to-day operations would continue under the auspices of Metro, but Federal Transit Administration officials could intervene when safety concerns arise. Officials could conduct surprise inspections and issue directives to Metro to immediately address safety problems in the system.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating a smoke incident in a Metro tunnel that killed one person in January, had recommended that Foxx shift the responsibility for safety oversight to the Federal Railroad Administration, another agency within the Transportation Department with more experience and a larger staff than the FTA.
The shift also would have subjected the trouble-prone subway system to stricter safety rules and tougher sanctions for violations.
Jack Requa, Metro’s interim general manager, said he welcomed Foxx’s action.