MTA initiatives focus on Metro-North, LIRR safety

Cars of a Metro-North train that left the

Cars of a Metro-North train that left the tracks in the Bronx lie in a marsh along the Hudson River. The train was near the Spuyten Duyvil station. (Dec. 1, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Monday announced several initiatives aimed at improving customer and employee safety, including the installation of new speed-control technology.

The changes at the MTA include the creation of a new chief safety officer senior management position, reporting directly to agency chairman and chief executive Thomas Prendergast.

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In another change, the top safety officials in individual agencies, including the Long Island Rail Road, will now report directly to that agency's president. And a newly formed safety committee will meet publicly each month.

The changes followed the deadly derailment of a Metro-North Railroad train in the Bronx on Dec. 1. Four people were killed and another 59 were injured in the crash.

"The safety of our customers and employees is unquestionably the top priority for the MTA, and these steps will make sure this emphasis on safety is built into the operations of every MTA agency," Prendergast said in a statement.

The MTA also announced that it had finished installing new speed-control technology on 10 major curves and one movable bridge throughout the LIRR and Metro-North systems.

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