What won’t the great leader take over? When the feds take over the toilet paper industry, watch your– self. From the Washington Post:

Federal oversight of subways proposed
Red Line crash spurred safety plan Obama administration to push for Congress to change law

By Joe Stephens and Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Obama administration will propose that the federal government take over safety regulation of the nation’s subway and light-rail systems, responding to what it says is haphazard and ineffective oversight by state agencies.

Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Transportation would do for transit what it does for airlines and Amtrak: set and enforce federal regulations to ensure that millions of passengers get to their destinations safely. Administration officials said the plan will be presented in coming weeks to Congress, which must approve a change in the law.

The proposal would affect every subway and light-rail system in the country, including large systems in Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Administration officials said they are responding to a growing number of collisions, derailments and worker fatalities on subways — and in particular to the fatal June 22 crash on Metro’s Red Line and failures in oversight that have surfaced in its wake. Those failures have been the subject of an ongoing investigative series in The Washington Post.

“After the [Metro] train crash, we were all sitting around here scratching our heads, saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do something about this,’ ” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in an interview. “And we discovered that there’s not much we could do, because the law wouldn’t allow us to do it.”[…]