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September 5, 2013

APTA, OLI strengthen partnership

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to renew and intensify collaboration on transportation safety and jointly develop new educational materials.

The MOU commits both organizations to ensure their policies and positions on rail and transit safety are consistent; work as partners to develop and distribute safety education and awareness materials to improve rail passenger transportation safety, both for passengers and for members of the general public; and to jointly participate on technical committees affecting rail and transit safety.

OLI and APTA also agreed to create new educational materials for bus drivers operating public transit vehicles at highway-rail grade crossings.

“OLI and APTA are natural allies in transit safety,” said OLI President/CEO Joyce Rose. “Our partnership goes back more than a decade. This new agreement deepens our commitment to our shared missions and accounts for new issues and resources that didn’t exist when our alliance was born.”

One of those resources is social and digital media. The MOU calls for APTA and OLI to share Web-based materials on each other’s websites and social media feeds, including public service announcements, videos and other awareness materials. In addition, the two organizations will help publicize each other’s workshops and meetings and follow a reciprocity policy that allows members of one organization to attend the other’s meeting at member pricing.

“Safety is the number one priority for our industry,” said APTA President/CEO Michael Melaniphy. “As public transit grows, we must provide more safety resources to all stakeholders—riders, pedestrians and public transit employees— in ever more creative and effective ways so that the message sinks in.”

The agreement comes as the demand for public transportation rises, with some transit agencies reporting double digit growth in passenger trips. APTA reported that in 2012, 10.5 billion trips were taken on light, heavy and commuter rail along with large bus systems. Operation Lifesaver produces numerous materials promoting safe behavior messages, including Key Safety Tips around Commuter, Subway & Light Rail Trains.

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