FTA Organizational Chart

Visibility of the System Safety Approach

The Office coordinates with industry and government partners to promote technical and management strategies for the identification, assessment, prevention, and control of hazards associated with transit operations, and the potential dangers to transit users, the public, and transit employees. The Office of Safety and Security emphasizes the use of sound safety management principles to identify and resolve safety hazards and security issues from the initial planning, design, and construction phases of any transit project to improve safety throughout its operation.

To enhance the visibility of safety in major capital development projects, the Office of Safety and Security is working with FTA’s Office of Engineering and Regional Offices, as well as the National Transit Institute (NTI), and the Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) to develop policy, guidelines, and training to promote improved safety management during transit acquisition.

For regulatory programs, such as State Safety Oversight of Rail Transit Agencies (49 USC 5330), the Office of Safety and Security is enhancing its on-site technical assistance and training programs to promote improved understanding and implementation of these rules throughout the transit industry. To provide more consistent communication with key stakeholders, the Office recently initiated a Quarterly Teleconference Program for the State Safety Oversight Program. During the State Safety Oversight Annual Meeting, the Office provides the Oversight Agencies with the opportunity to identify their biggest challenges with implementation of 49 CFR Part 659, and request specific FTA action and support.

Building Stakeholder Relationships
In September 2000, the Office of Safety and Security established a "System Safety Task Force" with representatives from transit agencies, state oversight agencies, design and engineering firms, and American Public Transit Association. The Task Force was organized to oversee the direction of technical support and policymaking for safety in transit. The Task Force’s

first major initiative, preparation of a handbook providing a recommended industry practice for safety certification, is nearly complete, and will be released at the end of the year (see related article on page 4).

The Office of Safety and Security also works closely with regional offices, states, and transit agencies to resolve oversight issues and address requests for technical assistance. Through these relationships, the Office is re-examining review mechanisms currently available, such as triennial and state management reviews, to more effectively leverage a culture of safety in the transit industry. The Office is also building on its relationships with the transit industry to support a pilot program to test the revised National Transit Database Safety and Security reporting module. The Office also coordinates with other federal agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

continued on page 4



State Safety Oversight • Issue 10 • October 2001


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