INTERVIEW — DC COUNCILMEMBER CHARLES ALLEN — member of the Council of the District of Columbia representing Ward 6
Councilmember Charles Allen Commends WMATA For Urgency of SafeTrack Draft Plan; Has Concerns About Station Shutdown Timing. ALLEN: “I recognize these repairs are needed and dramatic actions are being proposed, but I must ask WMATA to adjust its proposed schedule – perhaps moving these repairs sooner – to avoid a harmful conflict with the need for students and families to get to school.”
DOT secretary warns he could shut down DC subway system/ WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday he seriously considered ordering a shutdown of the entire Washington Metro subway system last week and may still do that if local officials don’t follow Transportation Department safety directives. “We have the ability to withhold (federal) funds from Metro. We have the ability to shut Metro down, and we’re not afraid to use the authority we have,” Foxx said told reporters. “This is serious business.” Local officials have yet to identify the root cause of incidents involving electrical arcing, smoke and fire, and so have no plan for how to fix the problem, he said.
Transportation Secretary Says He Almost Ordered Metro Shutdown Last Week. The nation’s top transportation official says he almost ordered a shutdown of the D.C. region’s subway system after inspectors were denied access to the tracks following an explosion last Thursday at Federal Center Southwest. Security camera footage captured the blast and blinding flash of light involving a third-rail insulator. In a safety directive issued Saturday by the Federal Transit Administration, officials said Metro’s rail operations control center denied inspectors access to the tracks and instead put passenger safety at risk by allowing trains to service the station for hours afterward. “It is hard to help somebody who is keeping inspectors off the track for hours at a time. Frankly, the more we see of that type of activity, the more inclined we are to take swift and abrupt action to shut them down,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in remarks to reporters at DOT headquarters on Tuesday.