A group of four US Senators have threatened Metro with “direct federal intervention” if it fails to make immediate safety improvements the Washington Post reports. The Post adds the senators sent a letter to Metro’s board saying the agency had suffered “an institutional failure.”
It’s hard to argue against the failings of Metro with regards to safety: the letter points out the 17 deaths over the last five years on the transit system, and that 42% of all track worker deaths since 2002 in the US happened on Metro’s watch. Those are sobering numbers, and indicative of systemic failure, not “a string of isolated ‘accidents.’”
What isn’t known is how a federal takeover of Metro would work. The Post goes into several options available. While a federally-run Metro wouldn’t be a panacea, a single entity making decisions instead of the fractured board might be a good thing.
A copy of the letter is available on Streetsblog.