Sneak Preview: FTA Rule Sets New Framework for Transit Safety

August 3, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xgran_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is requiring states and certain operators of public transportation systems that receive federal financial assistance as a recipient or subrecipient under FTA’s Urbanized Area Formula Program grants to certify, as of July 20, 2020, that they have a public transportation agency safety plan in place that is based on FTA’s new Safety Management System (SMS) approach. The plan must include performance targets and a timeline for annual review and update.

FTA required the public transportation safety plan certification through a final rule in the July 19 Federal Register. The safety plan is authorized by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141), which was reauthorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (Pub. L. 114-94), to strengthen the safety of U.S. public transportation systems. While the rule is applicable to operators receiving Urbanized Area Formula Program grants, FTA deferred applicability of the requirement for operators that only receive funds through FTA’s Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Formula Program or its Rural Area Formula Program.

In response to high-profile public transportation accidents in recent years, FTA this year adopted the SMS approach as its new safety regulatory framework. The main focus of the approach is to develop an organizationwide safety policy to encourage “proactive hazard management, strong safety communication between workers and management, targeted safety training, and clear accountabilities and responsibilities for critical safety activities.” The SMS approach also helps FTA implement recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board regarding needed improvements in safety and oversight programs for both rail and bus modes.

For the last 30 years, the public transportation industry has implemented plans and programs based on the system safety principles outlined in the Military Standard 882 series (Standard Practice for System Safety), while the SMS approach, conversely, applies “engineering and management principles, criteria and techniques to achieve an acceptable level of safety throughout all phases of a system lifecycle.” According to FTA, SMS is “a top-down, data-driven management system that involves the continuous collection and analysis of information that helps a transit operator become proactive about how it addresses safety risks.”

“Since no two public transportation systems are alike, the rule sets scalable and flexible minimum standards for safety plans,” FTA explained. “SMS is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing safety. It brings management and labor together to control risk better, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more precisely.”

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

As a reminder, our final Federal Funding Training Forum scheduled for 2018 will be Wednesday October 17 through Friday October 19 in Atlanta. Please let me know if you have questions or can make this forum. We hope to see you there!

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/atlanta/index.html?src=AT

In addition, we are now offering a procurement boot camp Wednesday October 24 in Washington, D.C. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in this program!

http://www.thompsongrantsworkshop.com/dcprocurement2018/index.html

LinkedInShare

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*