Feds Consider Transit Oversight That Could Affect Metro

The federal government is considering establishing national oversight for transit systems across the country. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation as recently informed Metro's President and CEO that a panel of 25 experts from across the country will soon be impaneled. Rod Rice reports.

Frank Wilson says safety is and has always been a top concern at Metro but there have been some incidents in other cities that have caught the attention of federal officials:

"Like the use of cell phones and texting.  Those kinds of things have to be attacked in a little different way because they're new. These are new causes for accidents and I think the federal government is wise and we support any effort to increase safety no matter how good our safety record is."

Wilson says he hopes that if there are real safety concerns that need oversight that the government doesn't dawdle.

"Once you specify that safety is a paramount concern then you have an obligation to move rather rapidly on it and drag it out and it that sense entertain the opportunity for more incidents before a solution arrives."

The big concern about federal oversight would be unfunded mandates. Wilson says he hopes that transit agencies will have ample time to meet expensive safety solutions before any penalties are levied.
 

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...