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Frequently Asked Questions

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Answer:

FTA proposes that participants of the interim safety certification training program have three years to complete the training requirements.

Answer:

FTA appreciates that CWP approval is on the critical path to receiving grant funding. We will work with each State to turn around their submittals as quickly as possible. To expedite this process, it is important that States carefully review the CWP template to ensure that all relevant information is provided. Time spent following up with a State for additional information will extend the review and approval time for that State.

Answer:

SSO Formula Grant Program funds are available for the year of apportionment plus two additional years.
Any FY 2013 funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2015 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the SSO Formula Grant Program. Any FY 2014 funds that remain unobligated at the close of business on September 30, 2016 will revert to FTA for reapportionment under the SSO Formula Grant Program.

Answer:

For fiscal year (FY) 2013, more than $21 million is available for States to develop or carry out their SSO Programs consistent with MAP-21 requirements. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, $22,293,250 is available for States to develop or carry out their SSO Programs consistent with MAP-21 requirements. Please see Table 13 on the list of Current Apportionments on the FTA Current Apportionments for the amount apportioned to each State.

Answer:

Recipients of sections 5307 or 5311 funds may use up to 0.5 percent of those funds to cover up to 80 percent of the cost of participation by an employee who has direct safety oversight responsibility for the public transportation system. Likewise, participation by SSOA personnel with direct safety oversight responsibilities will be an eligible expense for section 5329(e)(6)(A) funds.

Answer:

The status table is updated if any state has a change of status. The date of the last update is posted on the table.

Answer:

Public transportation remains one of the safest ways to travel in the United States. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports that, in a typical year, a transit passenger is 40 to 70 times less likely to be killed or injured when riding public transportation than driving or riding in a motor vehicle.

Answer:

MAP-21 authorizes a comprehensive Public Transportation Safety Program at 49 U.S.C. 5329. Four key components of that program are the National Public Transportation Safety Plan, authorized by Section 5329(b); the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program, authorized by Section 5329(c); the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans, required by Section 5329(d); and the State Safety Oversight Program, authorized by Section 5329(e).
Later this year FTA will initiate rulemakings to carry out all of these plans and programs, under the rulemaking authority codified at 49 U.S.C. 5329(f)(7). In partnership with TRACS, the States, oversight agencies, and public transportation operators and associations, FTA will propose SMS concepts, principles and methodologies to address MAP-21 requirements.
In applying the principles of SMS in rulemakings and other initiatives, FTA will set common-sense standards and goals for the implementation of SMS. Safety performance will be measured not just by reductions in the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities, but by the implementation of measures to ensure accountability for safety, and to proactively identify, avoid, and mitigate risks to safety.

Answer:

To help a safe industry stay safe and become even safer, FTA is adopting Safety Management Systems (SMS) as our new safety regulatory framework. With a focus on organization-wide safety policy, proactive hazard management, strong safety communication between workers and management, targeted safety training, and clear accountabilities and responsibilities for critical safety activities, SMS provides an enhanced structure for addressing expectations specified by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). SMS also provides dedicated tools and approaches to help FTA implement outstanding recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding needed improvements in safety and oversight programs in both rail and bus modes.

Answer:

FTA's interim program coursework contains different competencies than those in the Transit Safety and Security Program (TSSP). Therefore, FTA proposes that no credit will be transferred from prior education or experience into the interim program. More specifically, the current TSSP program was designed to address competencies that support the development and implementation of system safety, security, and emergency management program plans. The interim program promotes the development, implementation and oversight of SMS safety policies, risk management, safety assurance, and safety promotion programs and initiatives through the effective use of Safety Management Systems (SMS) tools and techniques.
The objectives within the SMS curriculum were built from FTA’s SMS framework, which uses a different approach to identifying hazards and controlling their potential consequences, continual assessment of safety risk, and an effective employee safety reporting system.

Answer:

To help a safe industry stay safe and become even safer, FTA is adopting Safety Management Systems (SMS) as our new safety regulatory framework. With a focus on organization-wide safety policy, proactive hazard management, strong safety communication between front line employees and management, targeted safety training, and clear accountabilities and responsibilities for critical safety activities, SMS provides an enhanced structure for addressing expectations specified by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). SMS also provides dedicated tools and approaches to help FTA implement outstanding recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding needed improvements in safety and oversight programs in both rail and bus modes. FTA has integrated various levels of SMS elements into the Interim Provisions to help a safe industry become even safer.
FTA has adopted SMS as our new safety regulatory framework. With a focus on organization-wide safety policy, formal methods for identifying hazards, controlling their potential consequences, continually assessing safety risk, and promoting an effective employee safety reporting system, SMS provides a new structure for addressing expectations specified by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Learn more about how FTA plans to implement SMS. 

Answer:

Initially, FTA posted the estimated dates by which WMATA said it would submit a closure request for each corrective action per the Corrective Action Plan it provided to FTA in September 2015. WMATA then changed their dates for a few of the corrective actions and FTA made those updates to the tracking table. In the interest of transparency and to more easily monitor WMATA progress, FTA has decided to only use the original estimated dates WMATA provided in September 2015 which is now reflected in the tracking table update in February 2016. When additional corrective actions are posted, the dates listed for those will be based on the Corrective Action Plan WMATA submits related to those specific items.

Answer:

Initially, the interim training program will primarily focus on enhancing the technical competencies and capabilities of those persons responsible for direct safety oversight of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (rail transit systems) and the Federal and State personnel who conduct safety audits of these systems. This approach recognizes the impact of recent bus and rail transit accidents and incidents that prompted the safety certification training requirements in MAP-21.1 However, many of the provisions of the interim program will also benefit personnel with bus safety oversight responsibilities; therefore, participation in applicable courses is encouraged.

Answer:

Yes.  You would speak with provider to arrange, provide venue, and be willing to accept registrants from your area that are outside your agency.   
This also applies to course that have dates scheduled.

Answer:

No. While FTA is aware of stop signal overrun incidents at WMATA Metrorail, FTA’s decision to issue this proposed directive is a direct result of inconsistent definitions, reporting thresholds and data analysis across the industry. FTA’s review of this information following the issuance of Safety Advisory 16-1 indicated the need to develop a proposed General Directive for Stop Signal Overruns industry-wide.

Answer:

No. In fact, SSO Formula Grant Program funds cannot be used to cover expenses incurred by the SSO agency prior to the effective date of their apportionment, which, in this case, is March 10, 2014.
Also, SSO Formula Grant Program funds must be used to develop and carry out a MAP-21 compliant program, not to implement minimum 49 CFR Part 659 requirements.
Further, due to the requirement for legal and financial independence, among other things, specified in 49 U.S.C. 5329(e)(3) and (4), FTA's SSO grant funds cannot be used for the direct benefit of a RTA, and an SSO agency cannot participate in FTA's SSO Formula Grant Program while receiving money from a RTA in its jurisdiction.

Answer:

Yes. An SMS is a collaborative approach that will help management and labor work together to control risk better, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more clearly. The ultimate goal of an SMS is to ensure that the agency has an inclusive and effective process to direct resources to optimally manage safety. SMS is scalable to organizations of any size and flexible enough to be effective in all transit environments, from the largest urban to the smallest rural transit system.

Answer:

Usually not; they are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration to further objectives of improved safety and security of our transit systems
When I press the "Register" button, I am transferred to another web site.
That is correct.   FTA sponsors these courses, which are in turn provided by suppliers like the Transportation Safety Institute and National Transit Institute.  At that point, you are making arrangements with those providers.

Answer:

No, however, FTA has developed a voluntary component in the Interim Provisions for the Safety Certification Training Program for employee’s who have direct responsibility for safety oversight of bus transit agencies.

Answer:

Please coordinate with your Regional Office regarding the exact circumstances of your State. In most cases the Regional Office will be expecting a designation letter from the Governor to accompany the grant application.

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