USA Today reports that U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx threatened to shut down the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or D.C. Metro) if the company does not improve safety.
Foxx’s announcement comes after Metro employees refused DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) access to a tunnel following an explosion of a third-rail insulator last week.
As a result, the FTA issued a safety directive May 7 to WMATA requiring the agency to:
“take immediate action to reduce the risk of smoke and fire events, to enhance the exercise of its emergency preparedness program, to conduct an organization-wide safety stand-down to focus all departments on core safety protocols and procedures, and to make decisions based on safety rather than on operational demands.”