July 27, 2010

CARDIN SAYS METRO LEADERSHIP MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR LACK OF ATTENTION TO SAFETY CITED BY NTSB

Washington, DC -- U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) issued the following response to today's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) final report detailing the investigation into last June's Metrorail crash on the Red Line at the Fort Totten Station in the District of Columbia:
 
"Safety must be priority number one.  I recognize that Metro faces great challenges, including a lack of resources, but it is disturbing to hear NTSB's determination that the absence of a culture of safety at Metro existed for years leading up to last June's tragic crash on the Red Line. More alarming is the news that the safety lapses that caused last year's crash still exist today, despite Metro's repeated claims that it has addressed these issues.
 
"Along with developing a real culture of safety, WMATA's leadership, starting with the Board of Directors, needs to be honest to the riding public and they must be held accountable for problems that go unaddressed. WMATA must be upfront with the public and explain what measures are being taken to address ongoing safety issues.  If problems remain, WMATA must explain what they are, how they are being addressed and what barriers might keep WMATA from fixing what needs to be fixed. We need more than just talk. There must be consequences for those in charge who allow safety issues to go unaddressed.
 
"Metro is an important part of the transportation infrastructure for the National Capital Region and the federal government. I am committed to working with WMATA to make Metro the safest public transit system in the nation and to help find Metro the resources it needs to address ongoing safety concerns and restore public confidence in the system. But the lack of attention to safety and the shameful amount of information provided by WMATA to the riding public needs to end immediately."