Curtis Compton

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is touting new regulations intended to boost safety on the nation’s public transit systems after recent deadly accidents on the Washington, D.C., Metrorail subway and New York Metro-North commuter rail systems.

Acting Federal Transit Administration (FTA) chief Therese McMillan said the proposal, which would allow states to set up independent transit watchdog agencies, would ensure riders are safe on their commutes. 

“America’s rail transit systems already offer one of the safest ways to travel about your local community, and we at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are working to make public transportation by rail even safer,” McMillian wrote in a blog post on the Transportation Department Twitter account. 

“That’s why, last Friday, Secretary Foxx announced a new proposed rule that will improve, modernize and transform rail transit safety oversight to help ensure the increased level of safety expected by the millions of passengers who use rail transit every day,” she continued. 

The Transportation Department unveiled the proposed regulations on Friday after the recent spate of fatal public transportation accidents. 

Federal regulators are investigating a fatal smoke incident on the D.C. Metro and a collision on the Metro-North commuter railway just outside of New York City that killed seven people.  

The Transportation Department’s proposal calls for strengthening State Safety Oversight Agencies that were established in the infrastructure funding bill that was approved by Congress in 2012. The DOT is calling for making them “financially and legally independent of the rail transit systems they oversee.” 

McMillian said the proposal regulations would “replace existing federal regulations with ones designed to better oversee the effectiveness of a transit agency’s system safety program.  

“It is meant to provide more comprehensive and clear requirements for state agencies that have oversight responsibility for rail transit systems that are not already regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration,” she wrote. 

Tags Federal Transit Administration Metro-North collision Therese McMillan Washington Metro Yellow line smoke incident
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