Beyer Statement on Federal Transit Administration’s WMATA Track Integrity Report
Track Integrity Investigation Report & Safety Directive Calls For Additional Training and Supervision, And Inspection Overhaul
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today released its Track Integrity Investigation on the WMATA Metrorail system. The investigation, which addresses inspections from FTA’s Spring 2016 safety blitz and mostly predates WMATA’s SafeTrack plan, found major, longstanding deficiencies in the way that WMATA conducts rail inspections and protocol used to carry out routine repairs and track work. The FTA report was accompanied by a safety directive outlining a series of twelve required corrective action steps, including updates to WMATA’s manuals and training for safety inspections and trackwork.
“Today’s report is alarming, but not surprising,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “It again highlights what has been painfully obvious for years: Metro’s safety culture is lacking. The WMATA rank-and-file workforce has taken much of the blame for recent safety lapses, and while employees should and have been held accountable, that accountability must extend throughout the chain of command. It is unacceptable for the nation’s second largest subway system to have inadequate training protocols for basic track inspections. We cannot expect our WMATA workforce to succeed if we do not give them the basic tools and resources required to achieve success.”
WMATA has confirmed that it intends to comply with FTA’s twelve action steps. One of the first of these reads, “WMATA must commit adequate resources and technically qualified personnel to the inspection of special trackwork and the completion of required corrective maintenance.”