Review and Evaluation of Public Transportation Safety Standards


Lisa Staes

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus, mode - rail, planning - safety/accidents, planning - standards


FAST Act, transit safety, safety performance standards, safety protocols, rail fixed guideway


Section 3020(a) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114-94, December 4, 2015) requires the Secretary of Transportation to review public transportation safety standards and protocols to document existing standards and examine the efficacy of those standards and protocols. The content of the review must include minimum safety performance standards developed by the public transportation industry and safety performance standards, practices, or protocols in use by rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. The review also must include rail and bus safety standards, practices, or protocols in use by public transportation systems regarding rail and bus design and the workstation of rail and bus operators; scheduling fixed-route rail and bus service with adequate time and access for operators to use restroom facilities; fatigue management; and crash avoidance and worthiness. Section 3020(b) of the FAST Act requires the Secretary to conduct an evaluation following the review in consultation with the public transportation industry to assess the need to establish additional Federal minimum public transportation safety standards. This report was prepared in accordance with Section 3020(c) of the FAST Act. It presents the findings of the review of standards and the outcome of the evaluation. Due to significant limitations of the safety-related data reported to the National Transit Database (NTD) and limited or non-existent data from other sources, including the results of the public evaluation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) could not prepare a definitive assessment of the efficacy of the standards identified in its review and evaluation. Accordingly, this report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations to support FTA's collection of data and a riskbased analysis of the safety performance of transit modes. The report also identifies transit safety issues that may be mitigated through the issuance of additional safety standards.


Copyright remains with Federal Transit Administration (FTA).