OLI doles out $175K via 10 grants

Written by Andrew Corselli
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As part of its Passenger Rail Safety campaign, Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) recently awarded $175,000 in grants to 10 rail transit agencies in eight states to increase rail transit safety public awareness and implement safety education projects and campaigns.

OLI noted that the grantees include: Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), Charlotte, N.C.; Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, Va.; Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minn.; Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), Houston, Texas; MTA Metro-North Railroad, New York, N.Y.; Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain), San Carlos, Calif.; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, Pa.; Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), Los Angeles, Calif.; SunRail, Sanford, Fla.; and Trinity Metro, Fort Worth, Texas.

The grant amounts range between $7,500 and $20,000, and require each agency to provide a 25% match. The agencies will use their funds to create and launch several public awareness and education campaigns focused on the importance of safe behavior around rail transit systems. Educational materials and community-based events will be held in states across the country, with the use of portable billboards, platform ads, radio ads and social media outreach, demonstrating and encouraging rail transit safety among the general public.

The educational campaigns will use OLI-approved materials and logos and be coordinated through state OL programs. A review panel evaluated the applications based upon criteria such as key safety messages, target audiences and evaluation methods. Safety campaigns will launch by the fall, OLI noted. 

“These transit agencies will put their grant funding toward campaigns focusing on keeping the public safe when driving or walking near commuter trains, light rail or streetcars,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “We appreciate the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for its work with increasing visibility and awareness of the rail transit safety grant program. Operation Lifesaver is also very grateful to its safety partners at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for providing the funding.”

“FTA is proud to partner with Operation Lifesaver to support innovative rail transit safety awareness efforts in communities across the U.S.,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “Through these grants and outreach efforts like USDOT’s ‘Stop, Trains Can’t’ Campaign, we are making a difference and saving lives.”

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