The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has rejected a recommendation to take oversight of Metrorail.
Late last month, the NTSB issued urgent safety recommendations to the USDOT, urging officials to place Metrorail under the watch of the Federal Railroad Administration, something not done with other subway systems in the U.S.
It would been an unprecedented step -- but it's not going to happen.
The USDOT said it will release a new plan for Metrorail soon.
Managers drew a direct relationship between the system's reliability struggles and falling ridership, which has dropped five percent over the past five years.
"We have obviously had our troubles in providing reliable service, and I think people think about that when they know they have to go from point A to point B and they need to be there at a specific time," interim general manager Jack Requa said.
Metro has faced criticism and rider backlash over the past several years regarding at-times unreliable service, breakdowns and smoke in tunnels.
In January, a woman died and more than 80 were sickened after a Metro train became stranded in a smoky tunnel outside the L'Enfant Plaza station. Metro said it attempted to get the stuck train back to a platform, but couldn't due to electrical malfunctions.