AASHTO has partnered with FTA, APTA, and CTAA on a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) about the development of safety programs which was signed in December 2003. This memorandum outlines core safety program elements and enhanced safety program elements identified by FTA. Core safety elements are to be implemented by all Section 5311 and 5307-funded transit providers. As the size and resources of the transit provider increase or as operational experience indicates additional needs, the transit provider should implement applicable safety program elements. Section 5310 provider participation is encouraged and subject to state discretion. FTA and its partners recognize there are a number of acceptable approaches developed at the state and national level that address the identified elements. Any model which embraces the appropriate core elements will comply with the intent of the FTA approach.
To help states develop acceptable approaches, the taskforce has worked with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Research Program of the Standing Committee on Public Transportation, the Multi-State Technical Assistance Program, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida to develop a Transit Bus Safety Resource Guide website. The purpose of this project is to gather industry “best practices” for developing model state safety programs and state legislation necessary for the development of improved transit bus safety standards and practices. States are encouraged to supply program information to CUTR to be included on the website.
Through the efforts of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), CUTR has been awarded a project to develop a “Toolbox for Promoting the Bus Safety and Security Program in Your State.” Utilizing the materials collected from the Transit Bus Safety Resource Guide, the toolbox will provide resources and training material for states to assist transit agencies in meeting the guidelines set forth in the Model Bus Safety and Security Program. The toolbox is envisioned as being a resource to be used at state transit association conferences, one-on-one with transit agencies, and in establishing training programs.
The Bus Safety and Security Taskforce also works closely with a group of key stakeholders monitoring Rail Safety Oversight issues. Because of the similarities between bus and rail safety and the overlap of responsibilities for several states, the two taskforces communicate regularly and have members in common. The goal of both groups is to provide feedback to FTA from the state perspective on the respective issues.