WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ranking Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, who is still trying to increase the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) special capital improvement appropriation that has been cut by $25 million in the House for fiscal year 2016, released the following statement on the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) approval of WMATA’s Corrective Action Plan to address safety violations found earlier this year after FTA’s Safety Management Inspection (SMI). Norton is trying to get WMATA the full $150 million approved by the Senate Appropriation Committee for fiscal year 2016.
“Following FTA’s tough safety report, its approval of WMATA’s corrective action plan should begin a critical period to renew our transit system,” said Norton. “But to really fix Metro, WMATA must get a new General Manager quickly to get this job done. The approval of the Corrective Action Plan should help alert Congress that cutting WMATA’s special capital funding this year will only delay the corrections Congress, D.C., and regional representatives are demanding and put the system at further risk.”
Congress gave FTA new safety oversight authority over WMATA and other transit agencies for the first time in the 2012 MAP-21 surface transportation bill following the tragic 2009 Red Line crash that killed nine D.C.-area residents. FTA’s SMI evaluated WMATA’s operations and maintenance programs, safety management capabilities, and organizational structures to assess compliance with its own procedures and rules, existing federal regulations and FTA Safety Advisories to ensure safety for its passengers, employees and system infrastructure. The SMI report included 54 safety findings: 44 for Metrorail and 10 for Metrobus. Norton wants to use FTA’s approval of WMATA’s Corrective Action Plan to alert Congress to the need to fully fund WMATA’s $150 million special capital improvement appropriation.