[Dept. of Transportation Building, 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, Maryland] Sharmila Samarasinghe, Virginia, Chair (rotates by jurisdiction, 2-year term), 2018

Appointed by Maryland Secretary of Transportation: Harold G. (Bud) Frank; Christopher Holland.

Appointed by Virginia Secretary of Transportation: Sharmila Samarasinghe; one vacancy.

Appointed by District of Columbia Director of Transportation: one vacancy

Department of Transportation Building, 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Staff: Christopher Holland

c/o Office of Homeland Security, Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, MD 21076
(410) 865-1161, (410) 865-1377

Under federal law, all states with a defined rail transit system not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration must have a state safety and security oversight agency. The Tri-State Oversight Committee serves as that agency for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (encompassing Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia), which operates the Washington Metro metrorail system, Metrobus, and MetroAccess. The Committee organized in 1997 through a memorandum of understanding as a joint effort of the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and District of Columbia Department of Transportation.

Each state safety oversight agency is mandated to develop a program standard for the transit system's safety and security plans; approve the safety and security plans; investigate certain accidents and hazardous conditions; require development of corrective action plans to address safety deficiencies; and approve any corrective action plans. At least every three years, the agency is to independently review the implementation of the safety and security plans.

Members of the Oversight Committee represent the jurisdictions served by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, created by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact of 1965.

In October 2015, the Federal Transit Administration began safety oversight of the Metro subway system as well. The Tri-State Oversight Committee is to be replaced by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission sometime in 2019, but while that Commission undergoes a complex certification process, the Tri-State Oversight Committee continues its work.

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