Senator: Transit safety fight will go on

Anne Wernikoff

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) promised Monday to continue fighting to increase public transportation safety as she prepared to attend an unveiling of new rail cars on Washington, D.C. Metrorail subway system.

Mikulski is scheduled to be one of the officials selected to take a ceremonial test ride on the D.C. Metro's new 7000 series on Monday.

The new rail cars are scheduled to replace Metro's oldest cars that were involved in a high-profile 2009 accident that took place on Maryland's border with Washington. The cars are scheduled to be used on the transit system’s new Silver Line in northern Virginia.

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Mikulski tweeted Monday that she would continue fighting to boost safety for transit riders from all parts of the metropolitan Washington area.

"New test cars leading way for next generation of safer & stronger Metro cars, serving 700K people who ride America's subway each day," the long-time Maryland senator wrote.

"Have continued to fight for Metro safety, introducing 1st federal safety standards for rail passed into law," she continued. "Will continue to work so Metro is safe for those who work on it and those who ride it."

Metro has touted the new rail cars it is receiving this year as a major improvement over its existing train fleet. The agency has said the new cars were built to specifications that were set forth by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following the 2009 crash.

The agency has also said the interior of the new cars was designed with customer feedback about its current trains in mind.