Theodore's World: Obama Seeks Federal Regulation of Nation's Subways

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December 06, 2009

Obama Seeks Federal Regulation of Nation's Subways

Obama Administration Seeks Federal Regulation of Nation's Subways

FOX News

Brushing aside tradition, the Obama administration is pushing for federal authority to regulate the nation's subway and light commuter rail systems following last summer's subway crash in Washington, D.C., that left nine people dead.

Next week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will formally ask Congress to give his department authority to regulate and oversee those rail systems, a move that some Republicans on Capitol Hill worry is another alarming example of an ever-expanding federal government.

"In this case, it sounds good, safety and enforcement over transit systems, but it may not be that effective," Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., told Fox News. "It could be costly but not that effective."

Nearly 10 million people across the country rely on subways and commuter rail systems each day. Experts insist it's safer to ride a subway in a major metropolitan area than to drive to work. But as systems age and budgets tighten, there are concerns that local subway systems are becoming more prone to accidents.

Historically, the federal government has left oversight of the subway systems to the states, unlike other forms of transportation.

But after the subway collision in Washington, LaHood decided it was time for the federal government to get more involved.

In June, a Metro transit train smashed into the rear of another at the height of the capital city's evening rush hour, killing nine people and injuring 76 others as the front end of the trailing train jackknifed violently into the air and fell atop the first.

It was the worst accident in the Metrorail system's 33-year history. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause and will hold public hearings in February.

LaHood has the unqualified support of the NTSB.

"We believe there needs to be standards established, whether it be for track inspections or crash worthiness of their cars, putting recorders on the cars," said Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the NTSB. "We really think that there needs to be some federal oversight to make that happen."

Surprisingly, subway system managers around the country initially seem open to federal oversight -- but worry about how they will pay for the things that federal regulators would require.

"When recommendations come up that you ought to take such and such sort of action, sometimes those can be costly indeed," said William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association.
"Let's make sure that the mandate's sensible, that the mandates are fundable," John Cataoe, general manager of Metro, said.

Wild Thing's comment..........

The name (Ray LaHood) is all you have to look at. This will be as well run as AMTRACK and as efficient as the thousands of Washington Bureaucrats - just another Obama take over from cities and state run transportation...air ports are next? How about those toll roads using bail out money....isn't BIG government grand?

So he wants to kenya-engineer the subways now, huh? Well, I guess he's interested in owning the "cattle cars" to move his subjects around.

If Obama has his way we will get to the point where we can’t even buy a sandwich without this Marxist creeps approval.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 6, 2009 03:55 AM


We are getting more Federal government growth in one year under obama than we got in eleven years under FDR. They have even forwarded the concept of govt controlling what we eat.

The one great control under The Constitution is the peoples' control of govt. That one seems to be sliding away.

Posted by: TomR at December 6, 2009 12:33 PM

Is this being done for safety ? If so then when is obama going to take the War on Terror seriously.

Posted by: Mark at December 6, 2009 04:12 PM

The US elites destroyed our transportation systems - from the railroads to trolley cars and mono lines and quality public transportation - period. The unions would get more power and vote that Dem ticket, eh? Love Germany's rail ways and bus service - the fatherland is second to none on this deal. What about that public transportation carbon footprint Obowmao?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 6, 2009 04:12 PM

Government has an excellent track record of intruding in citizen's lives and screwing up everything it gets involved in. Why would you not think they will f%$k this up to a fair thee well?

Posted by: Bob A at December 6, 2009 04:55 PM

What's next, a carbon tax on breathing, since the EPA is getting ready to declare co2 a dangerous greenhouse gas. I hope my plants don't get wind of this as they depend on my co2 emissions.

Posted by: Ron Russell at December 6, 2009 06:08 PM

Two examples of severe weakness and incompetence of the Obama administration:

1. "Harvard Simulation: U.S. Will Fail to Stop Iran Nukes," at ( has the story.)

2. "Unprecedented Incompetence at the White House: The Administration Didn´t Even Know What It Had Ordered Gen. McChrystal To Do," at

Defend Our Defenders!!!

Impeach the usurper Mr. Barack Obama!!!

Posted by: Anon at December 6, 2009 08:51 PM

Posted by: Anon at December 6, 2009 09:00 PM

Tom, your right, The Constitution is being
ignored and I wish the Conservatves in power
would be louder about it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:18 AM

Mark, exactly,obama sure hates that we are
going after his muslims.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:19 AM

Darth, good one!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:20 AM

Bob A., they sure do and your right everytime
the government gets involved it becomes a mess
and they ruin it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:21 AM

Ron, I hope not too, good one.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:22 AM

Anon, thank you for the links.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 7, 2009 12:23 AM