Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday said Washington is “too afraid” to invest in new infrastructure.
“It’s going to be up to Congress, it’s going to be up to the administration, and the people to decide that they are sick and tired of driving on crumbling roads, bad and dangerous bridges, and riding on 50-year-old transit systems,” LaHood said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“People in Washington are afraid to make these kinds of investments,” he added.
His comments come in the wake of a fatal Metro-North train derailment in New York City Sunday in the Bronx.
The investigation will evaluate whether the person operating the train was going too fast or was affected by another device, LaHood said.
Four people died and more than 60 were injured as a result of the crash Sunday morning.
In May, a Metro-North train derailed in Connecticut after being struck by another train. More than 73 passengers were injured.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has since urged New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority to adopt stricter safety standards. On Sunday, he said he called National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman for an expedited investigation into the latest derailment.
“This desperately tragic derailment dramatizes again the need for focus on railroad safety and reliability – adding powerful evidence to recent Connecticut incidents. Although causes must be determined, Metro-North must confront questions about adequacy of equipment, tracks, and maintenance and repair practices,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
“Riders are losing patience with this railroad and so am I.”