Two years ago, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was granted the authority to oversee the safety of all of America's individual public transportation systems, writes Theresa McMillan, FTA deputy administrator in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fast Lane blog.
“One of the agency’s first steps in establishing the authority was to set up a new Office of Transit Safety and Oversight (TSO), which marked its first birthday last week and the FTA says has seen much success. In its first year, TSO has been working hard to put in place the policies and skilled team needed to help make a safe mode of travel even safer,” wrote McMillan
For example, FTA helped develop a safety publication that allowed transit industry stakeholders the opportunity to weigh-in on upcoming rules as early in the process as possible. And, because TSO will be relying on state-based organizations to conduct much of the day-to-day oversight of local transit systems, FTA also created a certification program to help these organizations prepare for that role. FTA gave TSO more than $44 million to ensure the TSO could afford training and tools needed to carry out proper inspections.
The TSO staff has also begun conducting accident investigations , participating in three of them in this first year and issued three safety advisories to help keep transit riders and employees safe.
These are just some of the activities going on in TSO that have helped advance FTA’s mission to keep transit safe and reliable.