Metro Agrees to Let Independent Safety Monitors Walk In-Use Tracks

Sens. sought probe of potential safety lapses

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2009  |  Updated 2:15 PM EDT
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Metro Agrees to Let Independent Safety Monitors Walk In-Use Tracks

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A Metro train arrives in the Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro Station.

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WASHINGTON -- Metro officials have agreed to let independent safety monitors walk along in-use subway tracks.

Metro officials released a statement late Tuesday affirming that the Tri-State Oversight Committee -- the regional body that oversees safety at Metro -- has the authority to walk along the track. The Washington Post reported Monday that monitors had spent six months trying to get access to live subway tracks and contemplated declaring Metro to be out of compliance with safety requirements.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a verbal agreement had been reached and the inspectors can approach live tracks if they have passed a safety class and are accompanied by safety escorts.

The chairman of the oversight committee, however, said Tuesday that no one from Metro had contacted him to let him know monitors would be allowed.

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski called for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to investigate, and senators planned a hearing on the issue.
 

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