Accessibility   |   Bus   |   Management & Operations   |   Motorcoach   |   Rail   |   Sustainability   |   University

June 5, 2013

OLI chief talks rail safety at APTA conference

Operation Lifesaver Inc.’s (OLI) President/CEO Joyce Rose told attendees of the APTA 2013 Rail Conference that with record-breaking ridership on the nation’s rail transit systems, there’s an increased risk of safety incidents involving drivers and pedestrians at rail crossings, along mixed-used rights of way and for pedestrians.

“We are seeing the same dangerous driver and pedestrian behaviors interacting in the transit environment that we have seen for years on the general railway system,” said Rose. “People are listening to their music or texting on their phones and are walking off train platforms. Confused drivers are colliding with light rail trains by making illegal or improper turns at red lights or encroaching on rail rights-of-way and driving on the tracks. And still, too many people think they can beat the train, whether they’re attempting to take a shortcut across the platform or to retrieve some replaceable item that has fallen onto the rails.”

In 2012, the number of transit passenger trips reached a record 10.5 billion; almost half those trips, 4.7 billion, were on rail transit. Amtrak ridership hit 31.2 million passengers in 2012, also a record. The Federal Transit Administration is currently funding the construction of 17 new rail transit systems and 14 more rail transit projects are in the funding pipeline under this year’s federal budget. As these projects are built and open to passengers, there are safety risks to drivers and pedestrians in the transit system’s service area that need to be addressed proactively.

“See tracks, think train,” said Rose. “You cannot beat the train. We must drill this message home with many audiences — transit riders, pedestrians, teen drivers, school bus drivers and other professional drivers.”

For more than 40 years, Operation Lifesaver has worked to end collisions, injuries and deaths at rail crossings and along railroad rights-of-way through rail safety education. The organization has contributed to an 83% decrease in vehicle-train collisions on the nation’s freight and intercity passenger rail network. In recent years, OLI has expanded its rail safety message to transit systems.  

“Public transit is a whole different ballgame,” Rose said. “With freight rail, we want drivers to cross safely at designated crossings and pedestrians to stay off the tracks … period. In the public transportation world, the whole point is to encourage ridership and use of the system. We just want your journey to be safe, whether you are a transit user or not. “

Operation Lifesaver is partnering with local transit agencies through FTA-funded grants to support focused safety education and public awareness initiatives in communities with rail transit systems.

Rose, under her previous tenure as staff director for the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, helped craft the public transit portions of two recent surface transportation laws. Last year’s MAP-21 bill strengthened transit safety by establishing a national transit safety oversight role for the FTA, requiring safety standards for transit vehicles, and providing funding and increased accountability for state safety oversight agencies.

deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine
[ Request More Info about this product / service / company ]

    There are no comments.

E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - January 2014

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • Top 50 Motorcoach Operators
  • Innovative Motorcoach Operators
  • Rail Crossing Safety in Effect
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue