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Rail News: Safety

Virginia, Maryland and D.C. leaders agree to WMATA safety commission

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser have signed a memorandum of understanding that moves them closer to establishing a new safety commission that would provide independent oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

As part of the agreement, all three will commit resources and staff, share information and work together in a transparent fashion to develop strategies to help establish a fully compliant oversight agency, according to a press release issued by Hogan's office.

"The safety and security of public transportation is an area where Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. can act as one," Hogan said in the release. "Metro gets millions of people in the region to and from work each day and the Metro Safety Commission is an important first step to ensure that riders have access to a world-class public transportation system."

News of the pact follows U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx's continued threat to withhold federal funding from the three jurisdictions if they failed to create the safety commission, the Washington Post reported.

In October last year, Foxx ordered the Federal Transit Administration to provide safety oversight of WMATA.

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More News from 3/4/2016