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Consultant sought to review safety culture of L.A. Metro agency

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday moved to hire an independent consultant to complete a full review of the agency’s “safety culture.”

“As a board we must remain committed to this priority and continually strive to improve the safety culture at MTA in a proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner after suffering a major accident,” county Supervisor and board member Michael D. Antonovich wrote in a motion.

Antonovich cited a 2009 accident on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority subway system that claimed several lives and injured dozens -– and the subsequent reviews -– as motivation for the move.

“In its report on this tragic accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that this accident was not just the result of operator error or faulty equipment,” but had to do with the entire organization, Antonovich wrote.

The independent consultant will be directed to complete the review within 90 days and come up with an evaluation and recommendations, one of several measures in the motion.

The board on Thursday also approved a $37.3-million contract for environmental studies on the 710 Freeway gap project; increased the total budget of the Crenshaw line to $1.749 billion; approved a new contract with the Sheriff’s Department; gave $17 million for the final design and preliminary engineering of the Westside subway extension; and changed the names of a handful of bus and rail stations including the “103rd Street/Kenneth Hahn” station, which will now be the “103rd St./Watts Towers/Kenneth Hahn” station.

In other transportation-related news this week, the California Transportation Committee awarded about $450 million in state bonds to several projects in Los Angeles County. One of those, the Alameda Corridor East initiative, received $336.6 million to decrease street crossings on Union Pacific railroad tracks in the San Gabriel Valley.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

 
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