Metro has repeatedly said it is addressing safety issues, but a federal panel says much more needs to be done to ensure the safety of riders. A just released audit from the Federal Transit Administration calls for sweeping changes to Metro.
Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski asked for the audit last November after learning that Metro had denied safety inspectors access to its train tracks.
The report identified Metro has inadequate authority, resources expertise and communication.
“Our audit makes clear that these two agencies are not doing enough to guarantee the safety of Metro passengers or Metro workers,” said Peter Rogoff, the administrator of the Federal Transportation Administration. “While we have observed some improvements in recent months, a great deal more needs to be done to ensure that Metro passengers are receiving the safest possible service.”
In one section, the audit says Metro also failed to report accidents in a timely manner. The audit finds Metro notified the Tri-State Oversight Committee “12 to 24 hours late regarding the occurrence of a reportable accident.”
As far as the safety resources devoted by Metro, the report found the agency’s safety department has been reorganized six times since 2005.
The audit recommends that Metro take a serious look at itself by conducting a comprehensive review of its own Safety Department. Metro executives say the recent accidents have placed additional burdens on the department, which is already stretched thin.
If you’re interested in reading the report, you can find it here.