Proposed rule could create Public Transportation Safety Program

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation, announced on Friday a proposed rule that could create a Public Transportation Safety Program.

The new program would be included in the FTA’s new safety oversight authority within the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The proposed rule could develop a framework for which the FTA would oversee, monitor and enforce safety throughout the public transit industry. The proposed rule is founded on the practices and principles of Safety Management Systems (SMS).

“Every day, millions of Americans take public transportation to get to work, school, medical appointments and other important destinations,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, said. “This new program will help us ensure that transit continues to be a safe way to get around, and a safe place to work.”

The proposed rule would implement FTA’s authority to conduct inspections; test equipment, facilities of public transit systems; and take appropriate enforcement.

“With transit ridership at its highest levels in generations, and our nation’s transit agencies facing increased pressure to meet the demand for service, we must continue to ensure that safety remains the top priority,” FTA acting Administrator Therese McMillan said. “This rulemaking is a major step forward in establishing FTA’s safety regulatory framework, as all future safety-related rules, regulations and guidance will be informed by the Public Transportation Safety Program.”