: News

New Metro Appointee Wants Federal Transit Oversight

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Blatt

The latest Metro accident that killed two workers brings new urgency to safety concerns -- at a time of transition for the transit agency. Metro's General Manager is resigning, and Metro's Board will see a leadership change this week.

Meanwhile, the latest Metro Board appointee says the federal government should play a critical role in the agency's future.

Mortimer Downey served as a Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary in the Clinton Administration. This week the Obama Administration selected him to be one of its first federal Metro board appointees, allowed under Metro funding legislation.

Downey says it doesn't appear that Metro safety procedures are working.

"Whatever it is they've been doing so far doesn't seem to have had the desired effect," says Downey.

He says it's time for the federal government to oversee safety of public transit.

"They have the technical capability to do that, they can draw on what they've done in other modes, and they have no objective other than assuring safety," he says.

The Obama administration has a proposal to put oversight under the Department of Transportation. Downey says he's waiting to see whether the Administration funds the move in its next budget.

NPR

In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance And Resistance

For the past decade Pakistan has faced war, political instability and the rise of religious extremism. But those crises have fueled a new generation of Pakistani writers and artists.
NPR

Behold Ukrainian Easter Art: Incredible, Inedible Eggs

Even 2,000 years ago, people seemed to know that the egg could be a source of life. And an ancient art form has been passed down, transforming a symbolic source of food into a dazzling decoration.
NPR

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS. He and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098.
NPR

Between Heartbleed And Homeland, NSA Treads Cybersecurity Gray Area

Amid controversy over the Heartbleed security bug, the White House clarified how U.S. intelligence agencies must handle such bugs. Bloomberg Businessweek cybersecurity reporter Michael Riley explains.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.