CUTR/FTA Transit Safety Standards Working Group

CUTR formed the Transit Safety Standards Working Group to inform the development of FTA’s Safety Standards Strategic Plan and the tasks associated with the Standards Development Program. The thirteen-member group represents a cross section of the U.S. public transportation industry and includes transit systems operating in large and small urban environments and those providing rail/bus and bus services, along with representatives from industry associations – American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA). The roles and responsibilities assigned to the Working Group include:

  • Provide stakeholder inputs to develop FTA’s Safety Standard Strategic Plan and potentially support FTA’s Standards Development Program
  • Participate in a series of moderated discussions/meetings conducted by the research team
  • As an advisory panel to the Safety Standards Strategic Plan research team, conduct review and analysis of transit safety-related data
  • Validate focus areas recommended by the project team or make suggested modifications to that list
  • Examine standards presented in the Compendium to determine if there are currently standards that exist that may address areas of concern and associated focus areas
  • Review the findings and recommendations directed to FTA issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, Government Accountability Office (GAO), FTA’s Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), or other entities
  • Respond to transit safety related research briefings and identify any recommendations or model practices that may be extracted from those reports and utilized to further public transportation safety
  • Provide supplemental transit safety related data or sources of that data
  • Provide recommendations to the project team on potential methodology that may be used to prioritize focus areas for standards development and the list of standards associated with those focus areas.
  • Provide recommendations to the project team on standards or regulations that may need to be modified to address a focus area
  • Assign subject matter experts from the industry to vet recommendations developed by the research team and inform the process of finalizing recommendations related to specific focus area research performed

The Working Group meets on a quarterly basis. Committees assigned to address specific focus area research meet more often, as necessary. The initial meeting of the Working Group was held on February 15-16, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The agenda included an overview of both MAP-21 and FAST Act, work products developed through the Safety Standards Strategic Plan activities, and structured, moderated dialogue related to existing standards, gaps that currently exist within those standards, and areas of greatest risk for rail and for bus. Group exercises were conducted to further discuss areas of risk and priorities for standard consideration, and direct the project team on those standards that should be reviewed to address areas of greatest risks. They verified the need for standards within 25 subject areas.

On June 28-29, 2017, the Working Group continued their work during a meeting hosted by CUTR’s project partner, the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., in Pueblo, Colorado. One primary objective of the meeting was the validation and prioritization of the project team’s initial list of transit safety standard focus areas for consideration. In addition, the group was tasked with the review and input to focus area research activities and associated recommendations for FTA related to:

  • Event data recorders for rail and bus
  • Crashworthiness/CEM for rail and bus
  • Emergency lighting and signage for rail
  • Tunnel standards

On November 2-3, 2017, CUTR’s Transit Standards Working Group continued their work during a meeting held in Tampa, Florida at CUTR. The group was tasked with the review and input to focus area research activities and associated recommendations for FTA related to: event data recorders for bus, and tunnel standards. Other topics discussed included APTA’s Standards Program Process, APTA’s Safety Management Program, Safety Certification for projects, the SRI process for selecting rail research projects, and ways to promote and facilitate research sharing.

The next meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.

Working Group Members

Top Row Left to Right: James Dougherty, K & J Consulting Services, Inc.; James Tucci, K & J Consulting Services, Inc.; Jeffrey Hiott, APTA; Collin Mulloy, HART; Ni Lee, BART; Ruben Peña, TTCI; Lisa Staes, CUTR; Firdausi (Dose) Irani, TTCI; Jodi Godfrey, CUTR; Rino Saliceto, CUTR; Jill Hough, NDSU/CUTR; and Anna Rakoczy, TTCI

Bottom Row Left to Right: Ron Nickle, MBTA; Brian Alberts, APTA; Susan Hausmann, TxDOT; Abhay (“AJ”) Joshi, MARTA; Rich Czeck, GCRTA; Kurt Wilkinson, TriMet; Paul Goyette, LeeTran; Vijay Khawani, LA Metro; MaryClara (“MC”) Jones, TTCI; and Charlie Dickson, CTAA

Not Pictured: Will Jones, Greeley-Evans Transit (CO); Ed Watt, ATU; Jim Fox, SEPTA; Pat Lavin, WMATA; and Stephan Parker, TRB

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