MAX light rail system is safe, ODOT inspector says - KPTV - FOX 12

MAX light rail system is safe, ODOT inspector says

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An ODOT inspection of Portland's MAX rails showed the city's light rail system is safe, state officials said Friday.

The inspection took place after transit union leaders questioned the safety of the MAX system. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and TriMet are currently in a contract battle.

"After 50 plus hours of inspections and reviewing of records, ODOT was unable to find any areas of a safety concern," said John Johnson, ODOT's manager of rail safety section.

Twenty-one switches, six rail crossings and five miles worth of track were investigated by ODOT's specialist, who rode 28 miles on the MAX system.

TriMet's response on the investigation can be found on its website. Their statement said the concerns for public safety were an attempt to "divert attention away from contract reform."

Meanwhile, union president Bruce Hansen said safety for the public and the union members remains a concern.

"The problem I have, for one, was TriMet never allowed the union to go along with ODOT to share our concerns," Hansen said. "I contacted Harry Sapporta and asked for permission to be present and never got a call back. I spoke to John Johnson and was directed to TriMet for permission."

FOX 12 will have more on this story on The 5 O'clock News.

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