Federal Transit Administration Asks For Comments On Proposed Updates To National Public Transportation Safety Plan

As part of continuing efforts to strengthen safety for both frontline transit workers and riders across the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently proposed an updated version of the National Public Transportation Safety Plan. Reauthorized under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the plan creates a blueprint for transit agencies to adopt stronger safety measures. The draft of the updated safety plan was published on May 31, 2023 in the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period. FTA encourages the public to submit comments on the proposed changes.

“Safety remains our top priority, and this updated National Public Transportation Safety Program will help make a safe transportation option even safer,” Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg said. “This updated guidance incorporates new requirements in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and we look forward to working closely with transit agencies across the country on further improving safety for workers and riders.”

The National Public Transportation Safety Plan is FTA’s primary guidance document to improve transit safety performance on all federally supported public transportation systems and includes best practices, tools, technical assistance, voluntary standards, and other resources. FTA’s proposed updates align with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s goal to make U.S. transportation systems safer for all people. The proposed updates would replace the original plan published in January 2017.

The National Public Transportation Safety Plan lays out a performance-based approach to reduce injuries and fatalities within transit systems under FTA’s safety jurisdiction. This plan also supports the Department’s long-term goal of reaching zero fatalities on America’s roadways as part of the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy by adding safety performance criteria for vehicular collisions and providing voluntary standards for bus transit.

In the updated version of the National Public Transportation Safety Plan, FTA proposes several performance measures, including strategies to reduce the incidents and rates of vehicle collisions, transit worker injuries and fatalities, and transit worker assaults. FTA also proposes new performance measures for Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) risk reduction programs, which will be used by joint labor-management safety committees to set targets and assess the effectiveness of safety mitigation strategies.

FTA also proposes new practices for transit agencies to ensure public and personnel safety during an emergency.

The National Public Transportation Safety Plan is now open for public comment in the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period, concluding on July 31, 2023.

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