The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Dec. 15 announced the appointment of 24 members to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), which provides information, advice and recommendations on transit safety and other issues as determined by the Secretary of Transportation and the FTA Administrator.
According to the FTA, TRACS’s members, which will serve two-year terms, “reflect the geographic, size and issue diversity across the transit industry,” and includes individuals from large and small rail and bus operators, state safety oversight agencies, academia, non-profit organizations and labor unions from rural communities to America’s most populous cities.
Among the new committee members are Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Director of Operational Safety Edward Abel; American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Senior Director of Safety and Advisory Services Brian Alberts; Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Chief Safety Officer Donna Johnson; and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) Executive Director Rachel Maleh.
The additional committee members for the 2022-2024 term include:
- Johanna Cockburn, Director of Transportation, City of Greensboro, North Carolina
- Beverly Edwards, Chief Operating Officer, First Transit, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Rebecca Frankhouser, Chief Safety Officer and Managing Director of Safety, Security, and Quality Assurance, King County Metro, Seattle, Wash.
- David Harris, Transit and Rail Division Director, New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)
- Molly Hughes, Public Transportation Safety Administrator, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
- Laura Karr, Associate General Counsel, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
- Jim Keane, General Manager of Operations Safety, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
- Thomas Lamb, Chief of Innovation and Technology, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City Transit (NYCT)
- Brian Lapp, Senior Vice President and Chief Safety Officer, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit)
- Raymond Lopez, Deputy Executive Officer of Corporate Safety, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
- Santiago Osorio, Chief Safety Officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), Houston, Tex.
- Karen Philbrick, Executive Director, San Jose State University, Mineta Transportation Institute
- Ashley Porter, Transit Safety Programs Manager, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)
- Patrick Preusser, Director of Rapid Transit, City and County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services
- Reggie Reese, Chief Safety Officer, Pierce Transit, Lakewood, Washington
- Adam Sharkey, Deputy Director, River Cities Public Transit, Pierre, S.Dak.
- Justin Sobeck, State Safety Oversight Program Manager and Passenger Rail Safety Specialist, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)
- Lisa Staes, Associate Director of Transit Safety and Workforce Development Program, University of South Florida, Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
- Gardner Tabon, Executive Vice President of Systemwide Accessibility and Chief Safety Officer, Capital Metropolitan Transit Agency (CapMetro), Austin, Tex.
- Curtis Tate, International Administrative Vice President, Transport Workers Union (TWU)
“At the Department of Transportation, our top priority is ensuring the safety of every member of the traveling public, including the workforce,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “We look forward to working with the 24 members of TRACS–representing experts from large cities, small towns, academia, non-profits, organized labor, and more–to support the continued safety of public transit across America.”
TRACS meets as a full committee at least once a year. Meetings are announced in the Federal Register and are open to the public. The first meeting will be held in early 2023.
According to the FTA, since 2009, TRACS has provided “valuable recommendations on critical issues, such as establishing a Fatigue Management Program for the Bus and Rail Transit Industry and researching transit worker accidents and fatalities to better protect them in railway corridors.” The TRACS charter was renewed in February 2022.