Senator Barbara Mikulski says a new safety report will help prod Congress into passing a transportation spending bill that includes money to fix Metro's equipment problems.
The National Transportation Safety Board wants improved evacuation and rescue features on rail cars, data recorders on trains, and to ensure metro operators get enough sleep.
A spending bill that passed the Senate last week requires the Transportation Secretary to review these recommendations. Mikulski blames the Bush Administration for the infrastructure problems that exist today. "Lax oversight, lax regulation, a Spartan skipping budget," says Mikulski. "We are going to put money in the federal checkbook to make sure rail road travel is as safe as bus and airplane."
Mikulski got $150 million to make metro safety upgrades that include fixing the track signal system and replacing old rail cars. House and Senate lawmakers have to work out their differences before the spending bill can go to the President.
Sara Sciammacco reports...