FTA says WMATA Lacks both in Administration and Operations of Trains and Buses
FTA says WMATA Lacks both in Administration and Operations of Trains

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) came down hard on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) considering the agency lacking in both how it manages itself and how it operates its trains and buses.

As a result, WMATA will now have to quickly make some really serious changes in its working.

System-wide, FTA inspectors cited 54 overall safety violations: 44 for Metrorail and 10 for Metrobus, said sources.

The deficits at WMATA came to the surface despite efforts to step up the agency-wide commitment to safety that followed the fatal 2009 Red Line crash at Fort Totten.

It has been learnt that the major problems include understaffing at Metrorail's Rail Operations Control Center, a poor job of immediately fixing safety hazards and not being able to properly manage routine maintenance projects.

Now, FTA is issuing a safety directive that outlines how WMATA should fix each violation and requests updates to the 2016 budget to account for funding the necessary changes.

In addition, jointly with the National Transportation Safety Board, State Safety Oversight Agencies will inspect Metro's tunnel ventilation systems, and the FTA will give WMATA further instruction based on the findings.

WMATA has only 30 days time to respond to the report with additional information. During the duration, WMATA can also suggest equivalent, alternative actions. WMATA and FTA leaders will meet on monthly basis until the FTA says the meetings are no longer necessary or can be less frequent.

The FTA's audit includes an assessment of the emergency procedures for incidents involving fire and smoke as well as training for those events.

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