TRANSIT: FTA conducting safety inspection on D.C. Metro

March 22, 2016

FTA launches three-part safety inspections on Metro rail service

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is launching a three-part “safety blitz” on D.C.’s Metro rail system.

“Starting today, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) WMATA Safety Oversight Office is launching a three-part safety blitz focused on key areas of safety concern: red signal overruns, track integrity and rail vehicle securement,” officials said in a statement.

The FTA says inspections will be conducted over the next several weeks, and a final report is expected early this summer.  The inspections are part of a safety pledge made by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx during a testimony before a Senate budget committee.

The “safety blitz” inspections are seeking to answer three main questions:

1. Why are Metro train operators running so many red lights?

According to the FTA, there have been 50 red signal violations since 2012.

2. Does Metro have a quality system for inspecting its tracks?

The FTA will examine and assess Metro’s program for inspecting, maintaining and repairing track issues.

3. Are Metro’s rail cars properly secured?

FTA inspectors will examine how rail vehicles are being secured to prevent roll-away equipment and damages. 

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