After a comprehensive review of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) found no deficiencies in any of the 17 areas of MTS operations. This is the third consecutive time the FTA has given a perfect score to MTS during its Triennial Review of operations.
“To receive a perfect score three audits in a row is almost unprecedented. With 17 major categories and dozens of subcategories, it is rare that the FTA finds no deficiencies,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “This review is very important to our ability to secure competitive grants from the federal government. As it stands now, FTA hasn’t found any deficiencies at MTS in the last nine years of operations. This is a testament to great work being done top to bottom in the MTS organization.”
The purpose of the FTA’s Triennial Review is to ensure compliance with regulations and also provide a forward-looking assessment of each agency’s risk in the management and implementation of FTA grant programs. The FTA examined various aspects to MTS including documented policies and procedures, effective implementation of grant funds, sufficient resources to implement programs, understanding of FTA requirements and ability to conduct effective oversight.
Key categories for the review included financial management, maintenance, ADA compliance, Title VI, procurement, disadvantaged business enterprise, legal, public participation requirements, safety and security, and equal employment opportunities.
MTS has received $313 million in FTA funding over the past five years. This includes more than $45 million in funding to purchase 216 new buses, which helped MTS reach the goal of decreasing the bus fleet average age from 10 years to six years. FTA funding has also been used for improvement projects, such as Trolley Renewal, a $600 million project to rebuild the Orange and Blue Lines, rebuilding the bus operations and maintenance facilities in East County and South Bay, fare collection functions and upgrading transit stations.