Developing Safety Cultures in Amtrak and WMATA

  • Mark Buckley
  • Keith Marfione
  • Hannah Putman
Keywords: Amtrak, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, WMATA, organizational safety culture, public safety, passenger accidents, passenger injuries


Amtrak and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) have made recent efforts to improve their organizational safety cultures. By transforming their values and behaviors, these transportation organizations sought to reduce employee and passenger accidents and injuries, as well as build more collaborative cultures. This paper illustrates case studies of Amtrak and WMATA and examines the strategies and promising practices that these organizations employed to improve their safety cultures.

Author Biographies

Mark Buckley
Mark Buckley graduated from the Master of Public Administration program at The George Washington University in 2011. He currently works as a business analyst with the consulting firm ICF International in the Homeland Security and Program Management division. Prior to completing his MPA, Mark worked at Columbia University in both admissions and career development. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Boston College in 2003.
Keith Marfione
Keith Marfione is a second year Master of Public Administration student at The George Washington University, concentrating in Organizational Behavior and Leadership. He currently works as an analyst in the Office of Policy at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to beginning graduate school, Keith served as a Field Artillery Officer in the Army and earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Hannah Putman
Hannah Putman is in her second year of the Master of Public Policy program at The George Washington University, where she is concentrating in education policy and evaluation. She currently conducts education research at Westat and previously taught seventh and ninth grade English in New York City. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in English and Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, as well as a Masters in Teaching from Pace University.