NTSB closes seven WMATA safety recommendations

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has closed seven more of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) outstanding safety recommendations, bringing the total number of recommendations closed to 20 out of 29.


“The closure of seven recommendations by the NTSB continues our steady progress toward making the system safer for riders and employees,” said WMATA General Manager Richard Sarles. “With the hard work of our employees and continued funding support from our stakeholders, we will stay on our path to bring all safety recommendations to closure.”

The seven recommendations recently closed by NTSB are:
• Ensure appropriate coordination between all departments responsible for maintenance and design to resolve issues before new equipment is purchased.
• Establish a single point of responsibility within Car Maintenance to quickly evaluate and incorporate actions identified through accident investigations or related research.
• Establish written procedure regarding rail lubrication for single-track operations over switch, turnouts.
• Review and update operating rules to provide for layers of protection for Roadway Worker – adding requirements for Briefings, Scope & Duties, acknowledgement from trains.
• To all Transit Properties – Review medical history and physical examination forms and modify them as necessary to elicit information regarding sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
• To all Transit Properties – Establish a program to identify operators who are at high risk for obstructive sleep disorders and require that such operators by appropriately evaluated and treated.
• Completely remove unnecessary wayside maintenance communication systems to eliminate potential for interference with Automatic Train Control system.

Of the remaining nine recommendations, four have been submitted to NTSB for closure. The remaining five recommendations involve longer-duration projects, such as replacement of all 1000-series cars, that are in progress, but will require additional time to complete.

Categories: OFF Track Maintenance, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training