Van Hollen, Mikulski, Cardin Announce Passage Of First-Ever Federal Safety Standards For Metro
On Friday Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, along with Maryland’s U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, praised passage in the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which would establish the first-ever federal safety standards for rail transit systems nationwide, including Metro. The legislation now moves to the White House to be signed into law by President Obama.
“I am proud that the DC regional delegation has been able to work together to secure the inclusion of this critical safety provision in the transportation conference agreement,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “The lack of minimum federal safety requirements for transit vehicles was a glaring loophole in federal law, and one that had tragic consequences in our region in the 2009 Red Line crash. Under this legislation, the FTA will finally have the authority it needs to ensure that transit, like every other mode of transportation, meets a uniform benchmark for safety.”
“My promises made are promises kept,” Senator Mikulski said. “After the tragic crash in June 2009, I promised two things to the workers at Metro and my constituents that ride Metro. One, I would deliver the $150 million in dedicated funding for Metro’s capital improvements in the annual spending bill which I have done every year. Two, pass legislation giving U.S. Department of Transportation the authority it needs to establish safety standards for metro systems across the country. Today, this legislation delivers on that promise. We always say a faithful nation will never forget. Then we move on and nothing is ever done. Well, not this time and not with this Senator.”
“Safety has to come first. Establishing federal rail transit safety standards will help ensure the safety and reliability of our aging public transportation systems.” said Senator Cardin. “Metro is critically important to the Greater Washington region and the function of the federal government. As a regional delegation, we have fought to ensure that Metro provides safe and reliable public transportation for the millions of people who visit Washington every year, and especially the hundreds of thousands of daily commuters in the region who travel to jobs in around the Greater Washington area.”