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Mikulski: Metro Has Made Progress

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Two years after Metro's fatal crash on the Red line, the agency has made progress, but is still implementing safety changes.
Pete Thompson
Two years after Metro's fatal crash on the Red line, the agency has made progress, but is still implementing safety changes.

Although she's been a harsh critic of the system, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) admits the system is beginning to show signs of improvement. This echoes a recent assessment by the National Transportation Safety Board, which reports the system has incorporated more than 100 corrective measures recommended by the agency following the 2009 Red line crash.

All that said, Mikulski still demanded answers about aging rail cars and proposed new technology during Wednesday's meeting.

"How many cars have been replaced, and what does rollback protection mean?" she said. "Tell me in plain English what does that mean?"

Metro general Manager Richard Sarles explained some of the changes.

"All the 1,000 series cars are being replaced, and that's good," he said.

Sarles went on to describe the rollback protection technology which prevents existing cars from rolling backwards from a dead stop.

Mikulski also acknowledged that the culture at the transit agency shows signs of change in its ability to face issues, rather than deny them.

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