Transit Safety & Oversight (TSO)
FTA administers a national transit safety program and compliance oversight process to advance safe, reliable, and equitable transit service throughout the United States. The Office of Transit Safety and Oversight helps to increase transit safety through:
- Policy development
- Hazard investigation
- Data collection
- Risk analysis
- Oversight programs
- Information sharing
National Transit Database (NTD)
On February 23, 2023, FTA finalized changes to the NTD Safety and Security reporting requirements. FTA has adopted two significant changes to data collected on transit worker assaults and bus impact fatalities.
National Roadway Safety Strategy
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) outlines the Department’s comprehensive approach to reversing the rise in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the nation’s highways, roads, and streets. The NRSS aims to help achieve the Department’s commitment to safety through priority actions that target the most significant and urgent problems in roadway safety. See more information about the NRSS.
USDOT Announces Appointments to the 2022–2024 Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS)
On December 15, 2022, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the appointment of 24 members to the FTA’s 2022–2024 Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS).
TRACS comprises a diverse cross section of the transit industry, including large and small bus and rail operators, state safety oversight agencies, labor unions, academia, and other industry representatives. Members serve a two-year appointment.
The committee provides information, advice, and recommendations on transit safety and other issues as determined by the Secretary of Transportation and the FTA Administrator.
FTA Issues Safety Advisory 22-4
On December 7, 2022, FTA published a Federal Register Notice to alert transit agencies of the issuance of Safety Advisory 22-4: Suicide Prevention Signage on Public Transit. The advisory encourages transit agencies to implement, update, or expand suicide prevention signage and messaging campaigns that apply best practices for reducing suicide attempts.
FTA Issues Safety Advisory 22-3
On November 28, 2022, FTA published a Federal Register Notice to alert transit agencies of the issuance of Safety Advisory 22-3: Steering Gearbox Bolt Failure. The advisory recommends that transit agencies identify Nova Bus models manufactured in 2018 or later that use a Bosch steering gearbox affixed to the vehicle frame through a mounting plate and perform inspections, as recommended by Nova Bus. In addition, FTA recommends that any transit agency that identifies buses equipped with this mounting plate assembly submit a summary of their findings to FTA.
FTA Issues Reminder on Compliance Date for Safety Committee Approval of Updated Agency Safety Plan
On November 9, 2022, FTA issued a reminder to public transportation agencies that receive Section 5307 funding and serve urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more (large urbanized areas) to remind them of the December 31, 2022, compliance date for safety committee review and approval of their updated Agency Safety Plan (ASP). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires that applicable agencies establish a safety committee that must have an equal number of frontline employee representatives and management representatives, and that the safety committee approve the agency’s ASP and any updates to the ASP. As stated in the February 2022 Dear Colleague Letter, if a transit agency is not yet compliant with the new Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) requirements, the FTA expects the safety committee to approve any updates to the agency’s ASP, incorporating applicable PTASP requirements in Section 5329(d), by December 31, 2022.
FTA Issues Special Directives on Risk-Based Inspection Programs to State Safety Oversight Agencies
On October 21, 2022, FTA issued special directives to all State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOA), which oversee safety at rail transit systems, to develop and implement a risk-based inspection program in accordance with changes to FTA’s Public Transportation Safety Program as required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Risk-based inspection programs use qualitative and quantitative data analysis to inform ongoing inspection activities and are designed to prioritize inspections to address safety concerns and hazards associated with the highest levels of safety risk.
FTA Issues Safety Advisory 22-1 and Safety Advisory 22-2
On October 13, 2022, FTA published a Federal Register Notice to alert SSOAs and Rail Transit Agencies of two safety advisories (SAs) recently issued:
- SA 22-1: Rail Car Passenger Door Inspection and Function Testing
- SA 22-2: Signal System Safety and Train Control