FTA details inspections, upgrades to D.C. rail system at House hearing

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The Department of Transportation said recently, in congressional testimony, that it has completed approximately 100 inspections, through its Federal Transit Administration (FTA), of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority's (WMATA) Monorail System.

FTA Senior Adviser Carolyn Flowers testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Flowers said the agency has invested millions of dollars for safety upgrades to the system after it assumed temporary safety oversight authority over the monorail system after the Tri-State Oversight Committee's efforts fell short. This authority will end when Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia set up a new State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA), which has been in the planning stages since 2010.

FTA's upgrades include track-integrity improvements, as well as better securing of rail vehicles to tracks, along with rail-crossing signal enhancements.

“In a short time, FTA has provided more thorough safety oversight over WMATA than it has ever received,” Flowers said. “We all want Metrorail safety to improve, and we want change now.”

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