Government Issues

Feds make $7M available for innovations to improve public transit

Posted on August 16, 2016

George Chriss
George Chriss

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that $7 million is available in federal funding for projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to improve safety for public transportation workers and passengers. The Safety Research & Demonstration (SRD) program supports research on new technologies and safer vehicle designs to reduce the potential for accidents.

“The research we are funding will not only highlight new ways to ensure safety throughout our public transportation systems, but it is also intended to improve the safety culture at transit agencies,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “We believe this grant opportunity will lead the way on developing technological innovations and design modifications in areas of critical safety needs, particularly for bus operators.”

For example, FTA is looking for state-of-the-art safety solutions, such as automated warning systems that help bus operators avoid collisions, detect obstructions in their path or vehicle design improvements to reduce bus operator blind spots. Partly as a result of a July 2015 report from FTA’s Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), which detailed violence against public transportation workers, the agency also is seeking proposals that develop and demonstrate protection systems that prevent bus operator assaults, such as protective barriers, video surveillance systems, emergency communication systems and vehicle location systems.

FTA grantees are eligible to apply and encouraged to partner with for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, and other state or local entities. Applications are due by Oct. 14, 2016.

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