Friday, August 31, 2012

DOT: Prepare for new transit safety oversight

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is alerting U.S. transit operators "to prepare to meet new federal regulations that the Department plans on proposing in the near future. " LaHood offered the notice in a letter dated Aug. 28.

The proposed federal regulations would require transit operators "to strengthen and increase their oversight of public transit safety and are part of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), a new two-year transportation authorization bill signed by President Obama in July, 2012."

"Under MAP-21, we're ushering in a new era for transit safety, and we are committed to working with our state leaders to strengthen and help fund robust state safety oversight agencies to carry out this vitally important mission," LaHood said.

MAP-21 grants FTA the authority to establish and enforce a new comprehensive framework to oversee the safety of public transportation throughout the United States as it pertains to heavy rail, light rail, buses, ferries, and streetcars.

"We are closing a loophole in how transit safety oversight is regulated and enforced that is long overdue," said Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff. "For the first time FTA will be able to establish basic safety standards to better ensure the safety of tens of millions of passengers that ride public transportation each day."