Program Overview

CUTR’s Transit Safety and Workforce Development (TSWD) Program has demonstrated a consistent level of excellence in its wide ranging and far reaching projects and program areas.  In the area of transit safety, the TSWD program has played a valuable role in transit safety-related research, industry network management, and training.  This experience is vast and includes: research to examine the overall safety of the nation’s public transportation industry; topical research in areas such as bus operator assaults and collisions; synthesis reports that examine successful practices undertaken by public transportation agencies to reduce transit safety-related risks; the development of tools to improve the manner in which transit agencies report, track, and analyze transit data; and training curriculum development established to address issues, not only within the area of transit safety, but other transit disciplines as well.  Research and other activities have been performed for the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration; the Transportation Research Board; state Departments of Transportation; University Transportation Centers; and local government entities. The team manages FTA’s Standards Development Program which delivers timely and relevant information to the transit industry that is used to improve operational efficiencies and safety, promote and support training and professional development, and demonstrate and evaluate transit innovations and technologies.

In the area of Workforce Development, the TSWD team manages a number of state certificate programs, provides extensive public transportation training opportunities, and coordinates an annual Professional Development Workshop.  In its capacity, the program serves as a training clearinghouse for public transportation professionals throughout Florida.  Members of the team have extensive expertise in the development and delivery of training on topics such as transit planning, operations, safety, security, emergency management, and transit vehicle maintenance.  The program delivers training curriculum through strategic, multi-media approaches.  In addition to traditional classroom training, the team develops and manages e-learning solutions such as self-paced computer based training (CBT), videos, as well as interactive webinars, net casts, and online courses in a wide range of disciplines and topics. Through these workforce development initiatives, the program offers distinctive, innovative training and networking opportunities that provide participants with the tools to help them succeed and advance in their fields.  The program continuously assesses the training programs to monitor progress of participants and their effectiveness, a critical program process.

The certificate programs managed by the TSWD team are its central areas of focus and are those that have bought national recognition.  These include the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Management Certification Program, the Florida Transit Operator Trainer Training Program, the Certified Transit Technician Program, the Airport Leadership Program, and the Florida Transit Safety and Operations Network.  The success of these programs is primarily due to the partnerships we have developed and nurtured with Florida’s transit agencies, and the relationships we have built with federal and state government organizations, associations, and consultants.  These groups have played a pivotal role in the development of our certificate programs, the quality and relevance of our training curriculum, and the TSWD Program’s overall success.

In addition, the team focuses on transit management and innovation-related projects by providing practical technical support, transit management services, and research to transit agencies and local governments, specializing in service planning and operational matters, capital and operating analysis, project management, public involvement, and grant management. Research conducted includes operational procedures, technology applications, and urban and rural mobility and data analysis. Additionally, the program manages the Florida Transit Planning Network (FTPN) and the Florida Transit Marketing Network (FTMN) supported by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

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Gennaro “Rino” Saliceto

Safety and Health Consultant Transit Safety and Workforce DevelopmentLocation: CUT 246
Phone: 813-974-7748
Photo of Gennaro “Rino” Saliceto


Gennaro Saliceto, WSO CSE  

 Phone: 813-974-7748 




Mr. Saliceto is a Safety and Health Consultant and member of Transit Safety and Workforce Development at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF. He helps FDOT to ensure Florida agencies compliance with rules and regulations, offering technical assistance, and conducting compliance triennial reviews.  Mr. Saliceto has more than 20 years of extensive international background in public transportation operations and safety, including roles as Director of a Transportation Center in Spain, consultant for safety, security, drug and alcohol, and training for the main Transit Authority in Valencia Spain, and most recently as Safety and Security Officer for Space Coast Area Transit in Cocoa, Florida.  In his role as Safety Officer, Mr. Saliceto implemented an Accident Investigation Program and created a System Safety and Security Program Management Plan. Besides, he developed a training program for bus operators. These programs have been recognized by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) which awarded the agency first place in safety implementation for 2016. He is a certified Safety Executive and a Certified Safety Instructor Senior Level by WSO, a Florida Transit Trainer, and a Drug and Alcohol Manager certified by FDOT. He also holds the TSSP certificate through TSI in both rail and bus and most recently he completed the PTSCTP program for both transportation modes, bus and rail.  He provides several training courses for CUTR and he is involved in different FTA rail and bus research projects. Mr. Saliceto has been one of the authors of a paper titled “The Role of Public Transportation during a State of Emergency Declaration due to Natural Disasters” which has been accepted for presentation at the APTA Bus & Paratransit Annual Conference and the International Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. Mr. Saliceto also contributed to different TRB researches, such as “Nonpunitive Reporting System” and “Over the Counter and Prescription Drug Use in the Public Transit Industry”. He also served as lieutenant in the Italian Army, Mountain Special Forces, and he was honored with a Gold Medal for Distinguished Service during his participation in the U.N. Mission named Albatros (ONUMOZ 1992-1994). 


  • Safety and Training Coordinator – Space Coast Area Transit, Cocoa, FL 
  • Transit Safety and Operation Supervisor – City of Ket West, FL 
  • Director of Transportation Center – Ae Salla, S.L., Valencia, Spain 


  • BS Organizational Leadership – Major Occupation Safety and Health 

Waldorf University 


  • FEMA: Emergency Management – Several Courses (30) 
  • WORLD SAFETY ORGANIZATION: Certified Safety Instructor Senior Level (CSI-SL) and Certified Safety Executive (CSE) 
  • TRANSPORTATION SAFETY INSTITUTE (TSI): Transit Safety and Security Program Certificate (TSSP) Bus and Rail and several courses (19) 
  • STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (FDOT)Drug and Alcohol Program Manager and Compliance Certificate and Florida Transit Operator Trainer Training Program