Senate to review transit safety bill

July 8, 2010

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on June 29 unanimously approved the Public Transportation Safety Program Act of 2010, and it is now up for Senate review.

According to a BHUA Committee press release, if passed, the legislation would authorize the Department of Transportation to establish federal safety standards for rail transit systems, reversing a prohibition that has been in effect since 1965. The bill also would:

  • Establish a training program for federal and state employees who conduct safety audits and examinations of public transportation systems
  • Give the secretary of transportation the authority to require more frequent oversight; withhold grant funding; and impose more frequent reporting requirements, conditions on grants and civil penalties
  • Authorize $66 million over three years for public transportation safety
In related news, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on June 23 announced the formation of a 20-member Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety, tasked with "laying the groundwork for drafting national safety measures for rail transit."