Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Actions Needed to Strengthen Capital Planning and Track Preventive Maintenance Program

Safety incidents in recent years on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA's) rail system have raised questions about its processes for performing critical maintenance and replacing capital assets. WMATA initiated a new preventive maintenance program for its rail track in 2017, and is currently implementing a new capital planning process. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to examine issues related to WMATA’s capital funding and maintenance practices. This report examines: (1) how WMATA spent its capital funds from fiscal years 2011 through 2017, (2) how WMATA’s new capital planning process addresses weaknesses it identified in the prior process, and (3) WMATA’s progress toward its track preventive maintenance program’s goals and how the program aligns with leading program management practices. GAO analyzed WMATA’s financial and program information, interviewed officials of WMATA, the Federal Transit Administration, and five transit agencies selected for similarities to WMATA. GAO compared WMATA’s capital planning process and track maintenance program with leading practices. GAO is making five recommendations, including that WMATA establish documented policies and procedures for the new capital planning process and conduct a comprehensive risk assessment for the track preventive maintenance program. WMATA described actions planned or underway to address GAO’s recommendations. GAO believes the recommendations should be fully implemented, as discussed in the report.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 60p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01692514
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-19-202
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 31 2019 3:17PM