March 18, 2019
Washington Metrorail Safety Commission achieves certification from the federal government
New safety organization is given the green light to begin overseeing and enforcing safety practices on WMATA Metrorail Washington,
Washington, D.C., March 18, 2019
Today, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) announced that it received formal approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to start overseeing the safety of the region’s Metrorail system — essentially making the WMSC the official safety watchdog for Metro. “The entire national capital region should feel very proud of this moment,” said WMSC Chair Christopher Hart. “Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia — with the close partnership of the federal government and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments — have all worked tirelessly to establish this organization and ensure robust, independent oversight of Metrorail. With today’s blessing by the FTA, our critical work can now begin.”
The FTA has overseen the safety of Metrorail since October 2015, but federal law mandates that states that operate rail transit systems establish and certify a State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) by April 15, 2019. The WMSC was created in 2017 by an interstate compact between the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to serve as Metrorail’s SSOA and institute a new safety regimen to govern the transit system and assume the safety oversight role from FTA. “Since its creation, the WMSC has worked tirelessly to hire staff, build expertise and create a new framework to enforce safety practices on one of the busiest and most important transit systems in the country,” said WMSC Chief Executive Officer David L. Mayer. “We recognize the tremendous work the FTA has done for the past three years overseeing Metro, and we look forward to taking on the baton and building on their achievements as we work with WMATA to make Metro an even safer system.”
Web: wmsc.gov | Twitter: @MetrorailSafety Contact: Zachary Radford | 202-384-1520 | firstname.lastname@example.org ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
September 27, 2018
Washington Metrorail Safety Commission submits formal application to assume oversight of region’s Metrorail system from federal government
Federal government currently has responsibility for safety oversight of WMATA Metrorail and could hand over reins to new, independent safety commission by April 2019
D.C., September 27, 2018
Today, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) announced the formal submission of documents to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to certify its State Safety Oversight Program (SSOP) for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail system. The documents—known as a certification application—seek federal approval of the program the Commission plans to employ to ensure that Metrorail adheres to critical safety protocols and practices.
“This is a major step forward—not just for the Commission, but for the safety oversight of Metrorail,” said WMSC Chair Christopher Hart. “The submission of this application brings us ever closer to a new and enhanced safety regimen for all who rely on Metrorail, as the law requires and as this region deserves.”
The FTA has overseen the safety of the Metrorail system since October 2015, but federal law mandates that states that operate rail transit systems establish and certify a State Safety Oversight Program by April 15, 2019. If the WMSC does not meet the certification deadline, FTA will be prohibited by law from obligating any federal transit program funds to any public transportation agencies in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia until certification of the WMSC’s program is achieved.
The Commission was created in 2017 by an interstate compact between the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to serve as Metrorail’s State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) and institute a new safety regimen.
The WMSC now expects the FTA to review the application and decide by the April deadline whether to certify the program. The FTA and WMSC will now begin collaborating on transitioning oversight functions to the WMSC in anticipation of the application’s eventual approval.
“We are pleased to begin the next phase in putting our safety program in place, and we look forward to working with the FTA to demonstrate our technical capacity and achieve certification,” said WMSC Chief Executive Officer David L. Mayer. “After months of intense due diligence and staff work, this application shows our seriousness of purpose and our readiness to take on the critical task of Metrorail safety oversight.”
When the WMSC program is certified, the FTA will release federal transit funds that have been withheld from transit providers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia because the jurisdictions did not meet an earlier deadline to establish a federally compliant State Safety Oversight Program.
In addition, the Commission announced today that it has filled key staff positions and finalized contracts with two outside vendors who will provide additional staff as needed to support the Commission’s oversight work.
Finally, the Commission announced the adoption of the logo at the top of this release.
Contact: Zachary Radford | 202-384-1520 | email@example.com