Using Your Safety Management System (SMS) to Mitigate Infectious Disease and Respiratory Hazard Exposure
Transit agencies nationwide have led a historic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the industry continues to recover and adapt, transit agencies are implementing new and enhanced measures to ensure the safety of their employees and passengers and increase public confidence in transit. FTA is committed to helping the public transportation industry in the U.S continue to recover and adapt.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires that transit agencies subject to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation include strategies in Agency Safety Plans (ASP) to minimize exposure to infectious diseases, consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a State health authority.
FTA encourages each transit agency to consider identifying mitigations or strategies related to exposure to infectious diseases and other respiratory hazards such as smoke or residue from controlled substances through the Safety Management System (SMS) Safety Risk Management process described in the agency’s ASP.
Transit agencies may find the following resources useful as sources of hazard identification data and potential mitigations to inform the Safety Risk Management process. This list is non-exhaustive and is provided for technical assistance only.
- CDC Respiratory Virus Updates | CDC
- COVID-19 by County | CDC
- This Flu Season | CDC
- National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus | CDC
- National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System | CDC
- Clean Indoor Air Benefits Everyone
- Respiratory Infections in the Workplace | NIOSH | CDC
- Assessing Fentanyl and Methamphetamine in the Air and on Surfaces of Transit Vehicles | University of Washington School of Public Health
- Masking During Travel | Travelers' Health | CDC
- Vaccines.gov - Find COVID19 vaccine locations near you
- State Emergency Operations Center Contact Information
The content linked below is available for historical purposes. FTA is no longer updating this content and it may not reflect current COVID-19 guidance.
Transit COVID-19 Response Program Information Collection
From March 2020 to September 2022, FTA collected information from FTA recipients and subrecipients on the impacts of COVID-19, including transit workforce counts, service impacts, and transit worker positives, fatalities, and recoveries. All agencies that provided transit service and submit reports to the National Transit Database as urban reporters or tribal transit agencies reported this information directly. State recipients of Section 5311 grants are reported on behalf of their applicable subrecipients. FTA used this data to inform FTA actions in support of the transit industry’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and implementation of the federal mask requirement for public transportation.
While reporting is no longer required, agencies may access previously submitted baseline and recurring forms on FTA’s Transit Integrated Appian Development Platform for information and to update any previous responses as needed.
- Transit COVID-19 Response Program Information Collection FAQs
- Transit COVID-19 Response Program Information Collection User Guide
- Fact Sheet for Urban and Tribal Transit Providers
- Fact Sheet for Section 5311 Recipients
- Reporting Applicability Overview
- COVID-19 Response Program Info Collection Application for Urban & Tribal Transit
- COVID-19 Response Program Info Collection Application for Section 5311 Recipients
- Recurring Form Template
Federal Mask Requirement
From January 2021 to April 2022, the federal government required masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs. As a result of a court order, effective April 18, 2022, the CDC's January 29, 2021 Order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect. As of April 18, 2022, the CDC stopped enforcing its Order, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stopped enforcing its mask-related security directives.
This does not preclude transit agencies or local governing bodies from implementing their own requirements for face masks. Transit agencies may continue to recommend or require face masks on public transit. The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.
- American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA)
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act