The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) implemented a new Agency Safety Plan (ASP), recently approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and MARTA's board of directors.
As required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), MARTA developed a plan that takes a collaborative approach to managing safety risks and issues and more precisely measure safety performance.
“This safety plan is the result of every department at MARTA taking a hard look at processes and coming up with a better, more effective way to prevent incidents, and swiftly address safety issues. It corrects procedural flaws in the old plan and establishes systemwide procedures that are scalable and flexible, resulting in a safer transit system,” said MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker.
The ASP is based upon the Safety Management Systems (SMS) policies and procedures that focus on identifying safety hazards, mitigating safety risks, and employee involvement through reporting avenues such as MARTA’s Safety 1st Program and Safety Hotline which allow for anonymous reporting of safety hazards. It also features a new Anti-Retaliation Policy for those who report non-compliance of the ASP.
To help aid in the transition to the new ASP, MARTA developed an implementation plan. Several actions are already underway, including a new Continuous Improvement Business Unit, the establishment of a Safety Hotline, and hiring a new manager of SMS.
The groundwork for the ASP was laid in August when MARTA’s Department of Safety and Quality Assurance achieved the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification of its Quality Management System (QMS). A QMS helps coordinate and direct an organization’s activities and meet customer and regulatory requirements for operations. These standards serve as the foundation of the SMS, which provides the principles of MARTA’s ASP.