Transportation Transportation

FTA issues proposals to improve public transportation safety


Photo: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Washington –The Federal Transit Administration has outlined sweeping measures aimed at improving public transit safety as part of proposed regulations published in the Feb. 5 Federal Register.

The agency split its proposals into separate documents, both of which were required by Congress in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. FTA’s first item is a notice of proposed rulemaking for the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan; the second item is a notice of availability for the proposed National Public Transportation Safety Plan.

The proposed rule would require FTA to use a safety management system approach to safety, establish performance targets using data from the national safety plan, and conduct an annual review of the agency plan. Rail transit agencies also would be required to incorporate emergency preparedness and response plans that meet existing regulations. The proposed national safety plan is not considered a formal rulemaking action, but it offers guidance to stakeholders for managing safety risks within public transit.

Public comments on both proposals are due April 5.

“Public transit systems are an essential transportation option for so many and we must continue and even improve on their strong safety performance records,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release. “The proposals issued today would guide transit agencies in the development of comprehensive plans to manage risk and improve safety for the millions of people who use and work in public transportation every day.”

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan agreed.

“Today’s proposals are about setting safety performance criteria and targets, voluntary minimum safety standards and a means to communicate safety issues industry-wide,” McMillan said in the release.

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