Washington WMATA — FTA cites safety lapses in report today

The FTA conducted a very large safety audit of the Washington transit system.  The results were released today.

The US DOT FTA found serious safety lapses in Metrorail’s Rail Operations Control Center, which schedules and conducts maintenance work, manages abnormal and emergency events, and ensures the safety of trains and personnel on the right-of-way. In key areas,

WMATA is not effectively balancing safety-critical operations and maintenance activities with the demand for passenger service.

“These are serious findings that strongly indicate that, despite gains made since the Fort Totten accident, WMATA’s safety program is inadequate,” said U.S. Secretary DOT Anthony Foxx.

FTA conducted the Safety Management Inspection (SMI) late this winter and into early spring as part of its new safety authority established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012. The SMI evaluated WMATA’s operations and maintenance programs, safety management capabilities, and organizational structures to assess compliance with its own procedures and rules, existing federal regulations and FTA Safety Advisories…

The SMI report includes 54 safety findings: 44 for Metrorail and 10 for Metrobus.

FTA is issuing a Safety Directive to WMATA identifying required actions for each of the safety findings.

FTA is requesting the WMATA Board to determine what changes to its Fiscal Year 2016 budget may be necessary to effectively implement the corrective actions.

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