Government Issues

FTA issues Final Rule to strengthen state oversight of rail systems

Posted on March 15, 2016

 

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a final rule that will significantly strengthen state safety oversight and enforcement authority to prevent and mitigate accidents and incidents on rail transit systems.

“With the more rigorous and effective state safety oversight required by this final rule and federal law, transit systems across the nation will receive greater safety oversight with the aim of improving safety for passengers and transit system employees,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx “Greater investigatory and enforcement power combined with better training will give state safety oversight watchdogs sharper teeth to help rail transit agencies keep their systems safe.”

 The final rule will officially be published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2016, and will take effect 30 days after publication. It applies to states where a rail transit system operates and carries out several explicit Federal statutory requirements, including that a state must submit its State Safety Oversight (SSO) program to FTA for certification and that the designated SSO Agency must have financial and legal independence from the rail transit agencies it oversees.

In addition, the final rule requires that a state must ensure that the SSO Agency adopts and enforces relevant Federal and state safety laws, has investigatory authority, and has appropriate financial and human resources for the number, size and complexity of the rail transit systems within its jurisdiction. Furthermore, SSO Agency personnel responsible for performing safety oversight activities must have proper training and certification.

“FTA has delivered exactly what Congress authorized: a stronger, more robust state safety oversight program with increased enforcement tools,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “States should act swiftly to come into compliance to provide a higher level of safety for their rail transit system riders and workers.”

Within three years of the effective date of this final rule, states with an operating rail transit system must have a SSO program certified by FTA. FTA has already certified two of the affected 30 states as being compliant: California and Massachusetts. Most of the remaining 28 states have also already taken some actions toward compliance with these critical safety requirements.

To assist in this effort, Congress has authorized a stable source of funds to the states for their use in meeting these new safety oversight obligations. The existing Federal SSO program regulations will remain in effect during the transition period and then be rescinded.

If a state is non-compliant after the three-year period, FTA may withhold Federal funds until its SSO program is certified. If a state fails to establish an SSO program, FTA is prohibited by law from obligating any Federal financial assistance to any entity in that state otherwise eligible to receive FTA program funding.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Proposed FY20 Appropriations bill includes $16.2B for transit, rail

Does not allow the FRA to take back the $2.5 billion in funding that has been provided to the California High-Speed Rail Project.

FTA provides $9.6 million to bolster access to health care

Grants focus on transportation and tech solutions to reach medical appointments, access healthy food, and improve paratransit.

FRA cancels $928M California high-speed rail grant

The FRA added it continues to consider all options regarding the return of $2.5 billion in ARRA funds awarded to CHSRA.

Bill would ban use of fed funds for Chinese manufactured rolling stock

A number of large, metropolitan areas have recently awarded rail rolling stock procurements to a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

FTA offers $15M funding opportunity for innovative mobility projects

Projects will focus on mobility on demand, strategic transit automation research, and payment integration.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation