Hogan signs Metro safety bill in private ceremony

Original Source | By: Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

Gov. Larry Hogan signed into a law a bill that creates a new safety agency for the Washington-area Metro transit system, which should lead to the release of $4.8 million in federal aid that had been withheld.

Hogan signed the bill Thursday afternoon in a private State House ceremony that was attended by a handful of lawmakers and staffers.

The bill creates the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission to provide safety oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metro trains in the Washington area. The commission's creation was contingent on Virginia and Washington, D.C., passing similar legislation. Both did so in recent months.

Maryland, Virginia and Washington agreed in principle to create the commission seven years ago after a collision killed nine people near the Fort Totten Metro stop. The three jurisdictions missed a deadline in February to create the safety agency, leading the federal government to withhold 5 percent of the money it sends to the state — about $4.8 million.

Del. Kumar Barve, who chairs the House of Delegates committee that handles transportation issues, said after the bill signing that the federal government's deadline was "arbitrary and unrealistic."

Still, he believes the bill was passed in time for the federal government to restore the money before the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30. State transportation officials have said that as long as the money is restored by then, it won't affect the state's budget.

Back to news >

Social Media

Join the Campaign!

Sign up below and get our newsletters right to your inbox!