LaHood: Oversight will make public transit safer

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LaHood said the Obama administration has sought to increase the federal government's role in overseeing public transportation since 2009.

A crash on the Washington, D.C. Metrorail system that year that killed nine people and increased the attention paid to the issue in Congress. LaHood said Thursday the FTA oversight would help ensure accidents on public transportation are rare.

"Public transit is one of the safest ways to travel, and the FTA's new safety oversight authority will help ensure an even safer commute for the passengers who use our subways, streetcars, buses and light rail systems to go about their daily lives," he said.