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A newspaper poll of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) riders published last week found a "significant shift" in their views of the system's safety compared with a poll taken in March 2010.The Washington Post found 81 percent of riders rated WMATA "excellent" or "good," an increase of 14 points from the Post's previous poll. Only 17 percent of the respondents negatively rated the system's safety, with 3 percent citing it as "poor," WMATA officials said in a press release.The survey results build on recent safety awards the system received from the American Public Transportation Association and the National Safety Council, they said.Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) closed two recommendations last month that were made to WMATA following accidents in 2007 and 2010. To date, the agency has closed or submitted for closure 19 out of 27 NTSB recommendations, WMATA officials said.