On March 30, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation to create the Metrorail Safety Commission (MSC), an independent body that will provide safety oversight of the region’s transit system. The District of Columbia and Virginia have enacted laws to create the commission as well. Legislation ratifying the MSC compact has been introduced in Congress in both the House and the Senate.
In addition to their legislative efforts, the three jurisdictions are currently working together to stand up the commission by selecting commissioners, hiring staff, and securing office space.
At the March 2017 COG Board of Directors meeting, area officials received an update on the MSC from Todd McIntyre of the District Department of Transportation and Mark Viani of Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. The speakers described the creation of the independent, multi-state safety entity as a major regional accomplishment following a new and complicated process involving the two states, the District, and the federal government. They said District, Maryland, and Virginia transportation officials worked steadily to ensure the approval of compact legislation—considering and incorporating changes as needed by the different partners.
COG Board Chairman Kenyan McDuffie recognized board members, Virginia State Senator George Barker, Maryland State Senator Brian Feldman, and District of Columbia Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, for sponsoring and championing the MSC legislation in their respective legislatures.
The MSC will assume safety oversight of Metro from the Federal Transit Administration. The commission will have the power to order immediate corrective safety actions, investigate hazards or accidents, and issue fines. COG staff members have supported the three jurisdictions throughout the process.
MORE: View the MSC presentation to the COG Board