FRA Announces Findings from Metra Safety Assessment

The assessment finds Metra to be generally compliant with federal safety regulations.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's FRA announced the findings from its focused safety assessment of Chicago's Metra in a report. The assessment found Metra to be generally compliant with federal safety regulations, but also directed the commuter railroad to take immediate steps to improve its safety culture and to better utilize safety technology.

"Safety is our highest priority, and after three serious safety incidents on Metra within a seven day period, we proactively intervened," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Our safety assessment identifies specific actions Metra should take to address risks to improve the safety of all passengers."

FRA identified and prioritized specific actions Metra should take: Empower conductors to prioritize the safety of operators over collecting fares, on-time performance and customer service; ensure heightened crew interactions during higher risk operations; establish new procedures to strengthen the flow of information between operating lines and Metra headquarters; add technical skills training for managers; add safety measures and procedures that would provide a level of safety redundancy to protect crossover movements; implement a Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS); and immediately prioritize the acquisition, testing and installation of Positive Train Control.

"Continuous safety improvement must be the goal of every railroad," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. "The roadmap we've laid out for Metra today is an opportunity for them to renew their commitment to safety and win back the faith of the traveling public."

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