By Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Department of Transportation says Washington’s subway system will be under direct federal supervision because of safety lapses.

Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a letter posted Friday on the department’s website that Federal Transit Administration officials could intervene when safety concerns arise on Metro. Day-to-day operations would continue under Metro, a state-level agency.

The move means Metro will become the first U.S. subway system placed under direct federal supervision.

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said the Federal Railroad Commission should assume safety oversight of Metro. That recommendation came as the NTSB is investigating an electrical malfunction in January that killed one passenger and sickened dozens.

Foxx says the FTA will directly enforce and investigate Metro’s safety oversight. The effort will include unannounced inspections.

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