Metro Vows to Spend $7M to Improve Safety, Culture

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    Metro is answering an audit by the Federal Transit Administration that called its safety office dysfunctional with new plans to spend at least $7 million on safety measures.

    Interim General Manager Richard Sarles said in a letter Friday that the top priority is filling six of 12 vacancies in the safety department staff within the next two months.

    The FTA audit in March found Metro wasn't doing enough to guarantee the safety of passengers or workers. Eight employees have been killed on the job since 2005. The FTA called that inexcusable.

    Sarles said the transit agency also will update its whistleblower-protection policy.

    Metro has a backlog of 85 "corrective action plans" from earlier safety audits. Sarles said it's a top priority to implement those changes.