New Metro Appointee Wants Federal Transit Oversight | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: 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.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 28

You can see two solo exhibits featuring work that speaks in metaphor.
NPR

Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

Central American coffee farmers are facing off against a deadly fungus that has wiped out thousands of acres of crops. Coffee companies like Starbucks are pooling money to support them in the fight.
NPR

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

The Supreme Court has been granting more rights to corporations, including some regarded as those solely for individuals. But Nina Totenberg finds the company-to-person shift has a long history.
NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

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