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FTA awards $1.88 million grant to boost safety of Metro workers

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) Jan. 17 announced that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has been awarded $1,884,992 by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to improve track safety and protect employees who repair and maintain the Metro system. This competitive grant will support a Metro program to outfit track workers with technology bands that will alert them of incoming trains so they have enough time to move to safety.

Today’s announcement follows an October incident during which two federal track inspectors were nearly run over by a Metro train on tracks near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), a near miss which was reportedly the result of the train’s operator misunderstanding a radio announcement regarding the location of the work crew.

“Improving safety on Metro will require a sustained focus from transit, local, and federal officials,” said the Senators. “First and foremost, that means establishing a culture of safety across the system, and, where possible, deploying leading-edge technology to bring the decades-old system into the 21st century. Today’s grant announcement is a relatively small step, but one that represents a continued investment and commitment to addressing Metro’s safety issues.”

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