How many problems did the FTA find on Metro during 3 years of inspections?

The Federal Transit Administration has released its final batch of Metro inspection reports, completing the transfer of direct safety oversight for the rail system to the new Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.

Federal inspectors filed significantly fewer inspection reports in February and March than in previous months, as they shifted focus to shadowing staff from the new independent safety commission established by D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The reports published Friday identified a handful of issues, but did not focus on any major new problems like ones identified in previously published inspections.

“This is the last such update, as it includes the final inspections reports and inspection data covering the period of direct FTA safety oversight of WMATA Metrorail,” the FTA said.

This round of inspections focused largely on worker safety procedures and tying up loose ends by verifying whether Metro had completed some of the fixes directed during earlier inspections.

The final published inspection is from March 14, when the FTA monitored power inspections between Reagan National Airport and the Pentagon, and verified that some previously identified issues with switches had been repaired.

In all, from October 2015 through Mar. 18, 2018, FTA inspectors filed 1,234 reports noting 4,390 defects across the system.

The FTA directed Metro to correct those defects through 3,174 remedial actions.

The FTA had confirmed 2,161 of those have been completed, but 1,013 remained outstanding. The FTA also issued a number of broader safety directives to Metro while it was in charge.

Seven of the outstanding remedial actions are tied to Metro’s initial round of 24/7 track work, including two from a Vienna to West Falls Church closure in 2016, and four from a Red Line closure near Shady Grove in 2017.

Federal officials have continued to monitor Metro, even after the March transfer of direct safety oversight, including attendance at last week’s Metro Board meeting, since the administration can still play a higher-level role in oversight at Metro as they do with other transit systems across the country.

The federal government also has an additional role at Metro through the four federal appointees to the Metro Board. Maryland, Virginia and the District also each appoint two voting members and two alternates.

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