The Federal Transit Administration, in its toughest action since it took over direct safety oversight of Metro, issued a series of emergency directives to the transit agency and threatened to shut down the system.

The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1T4sNP9) reports that the FTA on Friday, citing Metro's botched response to a fire Thursday at the Federal Center SW station, says the agency must take "urgent action" to ensure passenger safety. It said that would include daily testing for "hot spots" along tracks and stepped-up measures against water leakage in tunnels. A "safety standdown" also was ordered to retrain all staff in proper procedures.

In a one-sentence response Saturday a Metro spokesman said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld "met with FTA this morning and is committed to implementing the new directives."