The stressed state of urban subway systems may be blamed on an array of factors: underinvestment, deferred maintenance, political and management decisions that prioritized expansion over maintaining current lines, or the all too human inclination to wait until there is a crisis before taking action.
The need to find new ways of paying for transportation projects in an era of eroding fuel tax revenues was a recurring topic here last week, as leaders and experts from around the country gathered to discuss the nation’s infrastructure challenges.
When the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shut down its subway system for an entire day in March for emergency repairs, it sent a shockwave through the country. People and pundits wondered: How could this be allowed to happen in the nation's capital? Who's to blame? What were they thinking?
The fire that killed one person and injured 91 last year on the Washington subway system was caused by faulty management and maintenance, a federal safety board concluded in a scathing report that draws attention to the nation’s neglected transportation infrastructure.
The chief congressional proponent of privatizing the U.S. air traffic control (ATC) system is vowing to press forward with the effort even though the proposal was excluded from the Senate version of the FAA reauthorization bill passed last month.