The Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently named three new appointees with safety expertise to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) board of directors.
USDOT said these appointments will replace current members who will be stepping down this month.
The two new voting members are former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland and former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chairwoman Carol Carmody. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Chief Safety Officer Robert Lauby will serve as an alternate director.
“The WMATA board plays a crucial role in setting the direction for the agency as it strives to address infrastructure challenges and establish a robust safety culture,” acting Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Carolyn Flowers said. “The temporary FTA WMATA Safety Oversight Office is on the job, but we are eager to see the local jurisdictions take responsibility and set up a permanent safety oversight agency.”
The board consists of 16 members, with eight voting members and eight alternates. Representatives are appointed by Maryland; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and federal agencies. The three new appointments take effect June 1.
USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx has encouraged these states’ and D.C.'s governors and mayor, respectively, to work toward establishing a safety oversight agency at the state level.
The appointments come in the wake of safety concerns raised over D.C.'s commuter rail system, which led to federal oversight of the system.