WASHINGTON, D.C. — By a 399 to five vote, the House approved legislation that gives the go-ahead for a new safety watchdog to be created to oversee the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), WPXI reports.
After a series of critical lapses, the Obama Administration directed the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in late 2015 to oversee safety for WMATA, but the federal government's move to assume safety oversight was designed as a temporary measure.
To provide a longer-term solution, the FTA required that Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia establish an effective safety monitor, and lawmakers in those jurisdictions have already approved legislation to create the new safety commission.
The passage of the resolution giving Congress's consent is now the final piece in creating the commission. However, the federal transit agency will continue to oversee safety until it determines that the new entity is capable of meeting its responsibilities. For the full story, click here.