A pair of final regulations were issued by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in July that rounded out the National Public Transportation Safety Program’s regulatory framework.
The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan rule, taking effect July 19, 2019, requires transit agencies to incorporate Safety Management System (SMS) policies and procedures in the development of safety plans. The rule sets scalable and flexible requirements for transit system safety plans by imposing the appropriate regulatory burden in achieving safety goals.
Compliance with the rule is required within a year, and FTA plans to offer guidance to assist large transit agencies in their development of safety plans and SMS implementation. FRA said application of the rule to small and/or rural transit systems will be deferred in order to evaluate the safety risks posed by these systems and to determine the need for future regulatory action.
The Public Transportation Safety Training Certification Program rule establishes a training curriculum for those who have safety oversight of rail transit systems. The rule goes into effect August 20, 2018.
“Through these rules, FTA will enter a new era of safety and we will continue to work with our state and industry partners to enhance public transit’s safety record,” acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams said in a July 18 release.
The authority for FTA to create a National Public Transportation Safety Program and to give it nationwide transit safety oversight was initially granted in 2012 by Congress and then enhanced by 2015’s FAST Act. Prior to that, FTA primarily was a grant-making agency.