Press Release

May 20, 2010
CARDIN SAYS METRO MUST FOCUS ON SAFETY OF CURRENT SYSTEM FIRST
"The federal government must play a greater role in assuring the safety of the Metro system for its riders and its employees."



Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) joined Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) for a hearing Wednesday of the Senate





Appropriations


Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee to review the President’s FY2011 budget request for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).
  The President’s request for $150 million would be the second installment of a 10-year commitment made by the federal government last year to be matched dollar-for-dollar by



Maryland


,


Virginia


and the


District of Columbia


.






 







I strongly support President Obama’s budget that adds $150 million this year to Metro’s funding for FY11. This funding is desperately needed and it is the right thing to do for what is truly







America


‘s subway system.







 





“Metro is essential for the functioning of the federal government

. It is how tens of thousands of our employees get to work every day. During peak ridership, more than 40% of riders on Metro are federal employees and 10% of the overall ridership serves Congress and the Pentagon. The federal government has a clear financial interest in the operation of Metro.
 The federal government must also play a greater role in assuring the safety of the Metro system for its riders and its employees.





 





“There is a continuing problem at Metro

. I know there have been improvements made in policy and personnel, but Metro needs to establish a culture of safety that runs through the entire system.
  It is an ongoing process that requires stronger oversight.





 





Metro is 34 years old. It is an aged system. I have seen the platforms and I worry about the safety at Metro today. It needs maintenance funds. It needs attention. I continue to strongly support expanding Metro, but our first priority needs to be to the safety of the current system, including the cars, stations and overall operations. As the federal government fulfills its financial obligations to Metro, we must establish a partnership that allows us to be more actively involved in ensuring Metro’s safety. I am committed to working with my colleagues to help make safety an operational priority at Metro and restore public confidence in the system. I want more than just verbal commitments to improve safety from WMATA and I want to see measurable results.”