Management & Operations

WMATA seeks $190 million for safety improvements

Posted on October 17, 2001

The Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) asked federal officials for $190 million to improve safety at the transit system. That amount would be for high-tech security equipment, and $81 million would be used to expand technology aimed at protecting Metrorail from chemical and biological terrorist attacks. The Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements, or PROTECT, has been in effect since 1999. WMATA already installed detection sensors on a small section of the train system. "Given that [WMATA] is the primary evacuation mode for the region, it is vital to provide this additional level of protection," WMATA General Manager Richard White wrote in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft. WMATA wants to spend $40 million on a new operations and command center away from its headquarters. The agency also wants to equip its buses with digital cameras ($20 million) and provide gas masks, gloves and other protective clothing and equipment for its employees ($5 million).

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