File photo of the Metro Blue Line. Photo by John Schreiber.
File photo of the Metro Blue Line. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was awarded a $1.7 million federal grant to install and test a radar-based system of detecting track intrusions, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

The new system will alert rail operators and transit officials when people or objects are detected on the track, helping to avoid collisions.

“Safety is our highest priority at DOT, and we are committed to ensuring that public transportation remains one of the safest ways to travel in the United States,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

A total of 13 grants were handed out in nine states to support cutting- edge developments in mass transit, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to help transit agencies improve track worker and passenger safety, better withstand natural disasters, and respond more effectively to emergencies, Foxx said.

“These grants will help transit agencies utilize the latest, most innovative technologies available to reduce collisions, protect track workers, improve operations during emergencies and natural disasters, and maintain equipment and infrastructure,” he said.

City News Service

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