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Feds say Metro making progress fixing safety issues

The number of "open remedial actions" aimed at addressing Metro's safety issues has been reduced forom 600 in mid-July to about 275. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — Metro is making progress on safety issues in the system but still has a number of things to address, according to updated information from the Federal Transit Administration.

The FTA says Metro has 275 “open remedial actions” that federal investigators have identified — down from 600 in mid-July.

The vast majority of the open issues, 168, are with the tracks. The second-largest area is traction power, which supplies electricity to trains, followed by rail transportation. Over the course of federal oversight inspections that began after the FTA took on the role late last year, Metro has been directed to make 848 fixes to address 1,233 defects.

FTA WMATA Metrorail Inspection Summary
Discipline Inspection Reports Defects Noted Remedial Actions Open Remedial Actions
Track 119 985 704 168
Rail Transportation 75 111 45 28
Rail Operations Control Center 21 59 14 4
Vehicle Maintenance 7 2 3 3
Transit Police 3 0 0 0
Automatic Train Control 3 1 6 6
Communications 2 1 3 3
Traction Power 7 70 72 62
Systems Maintenance 1 0 0 0
Other 15 4 1 1
TOTAL 253 1,233 848 275

Inspections that have specifically focused on Metro’s 24/7 track work have also turned up some issues, including some that remain unresolved in each of the track work zones going back to the start of the work in June.

Surge Area Inspection Reports Defects Noted Remedial Actions Open Remedial Actions
1. East Falls Church-Ballston 17 54 42 6
June 4-16, 2016
2. Eastern Market-Minnesota Ave / Benning Road 13 55 46 13
June 18-July 3, 2016
3. National Airport-Braddock Road 3 21 21 5
July 5-11, 2016
4. National Airport-Pentagon City 6 48 50 9
July 12-18, 2016
5. East Falls Church-Ballston 5 5 9 7
July 20-31, 2016
6. Takoma-Silver Spring 2 2 2 2
August 1-7, 2016
7. Shady Grove-Twinbrook 6 16 11 11
August 9-21, 2016
TOTAL 52 201 181 53

Metro is also required to provide broader corrective action plans to address more deep-seated issues identified in a series of federal safety directives.

By the FTA’s count, Metro is late on 26 of those plans. Meanwhile, 10 have been approved and 10 are under review. Another 188 of the corrective action plans are not yet due.

The FTA notes that some of the “late” plans may be beyond the originally proposed submission date but still in progress.

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