Using Your Safety Management System (SMS) to Protect Transit Workers from Assaults
FTA is working with transit agencies to address the ongoing risk of assaults on transit workers using Safety Management System (SMS) principles and methods, which FTA adopted as the basis of its Public Transportation Safety Program and Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation.
Funding Sources Factsheet - Provides information on FTA formula funding programs available to help transit agencies address and prevent crime on their systems and protect transit workers and riders.
FTA has developed resources to help transit agencies conduct safety risk assessments related to assaults on transit workers and develop safety risk mitigations.
- Addressing Assaults on Transit Workers through Your Agency’s SMS - Overview of how agencies can use SMS to address transit worker assault
- An SMS Approach to Operator Assault - Guide to identifying hazards related to assaults on transit workers through the Safety Risk Management process
- Safety Risk Assessment in Practice – Review of safety risk assessment process, including data inputs, risk matrices, and outputs to support decision-making
- Developing and Monitoring Safety Risk Mitigations in Response to a Safety Risk Assessment - Video and Guide to identifying, developing, and monitoring the effectiveness of mitigations, with examples
- Data from expanded reporting of assaults on transit workers to the National Transit Database (NTD) may help inform safety risk assessments
FTA sponsors courses to provide participants with knowledge and skills to reduce the likelihood of assault incidents during revenue service and prevent, respond to, and recover from workplace violence.
- Assault Awareness and Prevention for Transit Operators
- Violence in the Transit Workplace – Prevention, Response and Recovery
FTA Actions to Address Assaults on Transit Workers
- Special Directives: Required Actions Regarding Transit Worker Assault - Read FTA’s Analysis of Transit Agency Responses to the Special Directives: Required Actions Regarding Transit Worker Assault. Issued in 2022 to nine transit agencies that reported 79% of all assaults on transit workers to the National Transit Database (NTD) between 2016 and 2021, the Special Directives required the agencies to provide information to FTA on how they are addressing transit worker assault risk using SMS processes.
- Transit Worker and Rider Safety Best Practices Research Project - In 2022, FTA began conducting research to identify public safety risks for transit workers and riders, determine the most effective mitigation strategies to minimize those risks, and promote the implementation of those strategies.
- Enhanced Transit Safety and Crime Prevention Initiative - Launched in 2021 to provide information on FTA formula funding programs and training available to help transit agencies address and prevent crime on their systems and protect transit workers and riders. It includes supporting research to reduce safety hazards and improve safety for transit workers and riders.
- Request for Information (RFI) on Transit Worker Safety - In 2021, FTA sought public input on potential FTA action in two transit worker safety areas: rail transit roadway worker protection and transit worker assault prevention. View the presentation and recording from FTA’s webinar on the RFI.
- Bus Operator Compartment Redesign Program - FTA launched this program in 2020 to support research projects that protect operators from assault and improve their view of the road through innovative designs.
- Protecting Public Transportation Operators From Risk of Assault - Federal Register Notice published by FTA in 2019 alerting transit agencies to the need to address the risk of transit operator assault when identified through the processes required under the PTASP regulation.
- Review and Evaluation of Public Transportation Safety Standards - 2017 report presenting findings of a FAST Act required review and evaluation of public transportation safety standards and protocols, including rail and bus design and the workstations of rail and bus operators as it relates to protecting operators from the risk of assault.
- National Online Dialogue on Transit Worker Assault - Convened by FTA between June-August 2016 to engage the industry and provide stakeholders an opportunity to share comments with FTA on their experiences with transit worker assaults and mitigations they have used to reduce or eliminate assaults.
- Preventing and Mitigating Transit Worker Assaults in the Bus and Rail Transit Industry - 2015 Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) report.