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FTA reduces restrictions on WMATA

  • Published in Local

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Federal Transit Administration acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers said Dec. 22 that Metro’s financial records have improved, so she is making Metro take fewer steps to receive federal money.

“FTA has determined that WMATA has implemented the necessary corrective actions and has made sufficient progress in resolving all deficiencies for all grants awarded after July 1, 2015,” Flowers said.

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You Speak Up!

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Bulger expresses concerns for suit against Metro over proposed service cuts

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As the Metro board prepares to vote on a proposed service cut that could adversely change the experience on Metro for thousands of riders, a board committee member questions Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s analysis of equity in the proposal.

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'How many more people have to die?'

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Congress grills Metro managers on ills

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WASHINGTON – Members of Congress pointed fingers at witnesses called to testify about Metro’s SafeTrack program Friday, including a federal safety official, Metro’s board chairman and a Metro union representative.

"How many more people have to die before we get you to act?" Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) asked Federal Transit Administration Executive Director Matthew Welbes.

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House joint committee grills Metro Board, union and FTA

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WASHINGTON – Members of a joint House committee pointed fingers at witnesses called to testify, including a federal safety official, Metro’s board chairman and a Metro union representative, during a hearing for Metro SafeTrack Friday. 

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and subcommittees on Transportation & Public Assets and Government Relation hosted the hearing.

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Council hopeful for Purple Line continuation

  • Published in Local

Council member Roger Berliner (D-1) said Leon’s ruling to allow the Federal Transit Administration to decide the significance of Metro ridership brings him new hope.

He said he is confident the end of the Purple Line hiatus is near.

Berliner said he believes there is no turning back after the judge’s order Nov. 22. He ordered the FTA to assess Metro’s ridership and safety issues and determine whether either will harm the Purple Line project. From there, FTA and the Maryland Transit Administration would determine whether they need to write a new environmental impact statement pertaining to Metro’s impact on the project.

“By opening the record and allowing the agencies to show him why they don’t think this Metro issue is relevant, he (Leon) will no longer be able to say they were arbitrary and capricious,” Berliner said. “He can only say, ‘I don’t agree but under the law, I can’t substitute my judgment for the agencies, therefore we’re done here.’”

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Purple Line on chopping block again

  • Published in Local

BETHESDA – Crews were slated to begin construction work for the Purple Line Oct. 29, but cannot until a federal judge restores the Federal Transit Administration’s record of decision to approve the project, said Maryland Transit Administration Director Charles Lattucca.

Lattucca, who’s in charge of the Purple Line project, said he does not think a federal district court judge’s decision to put the Purple Line on hold will jeopardize the project.

“It kind of threw us for a loop,” Lattuca told group of 30 to 40 in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Services Center Sept. 29. “It was through a federal court judge, (who) vacated the record of decision, which is basically the stamp of approval on your environmental permit with the (FTA).”

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Another Fine Metro Mess

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WASHINGTON – Metro needs to make sure trains don’t move unintentionally and revise the safety handbook so employees understand why they need to secure vehicles, according to Federal Transit Administration officials.

The FTA issued a report and safety directive Aug. 24 after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported three unintentional train movements in 2014 and 2015, including one involving a train with passengers aboard.

Investigators found that failure to secure unattended vehicles, violating Metro protocol, is a problem pervading Metro.

District Council member Jack Evans (D-2), the Metro Board of Directors chairman, said a third round of safety directives based on FTA’s “Safety Blitz” did not surprise him.

“I’m not alarmed, I’m annoyed. I’m disoriented and disappointed,” Evans said. “Nothing surprises me anymore with Metro,” Evans said.

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