Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Additional 3 states obtain FTA certification of SSO Programs

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Three states¬ – Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania – have obtained Federal Transit Administration (FTA) certification of their State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs.


The certifications bring the total to 11 states that have obtained FTA certification of their SSO Programs ahead of the April 15, 2019 deadline. An additional six states have their SSO Program into the FTA for review leaving 14 state certifications outstanding. Should and of the 30 states required to obtain certification fail to do so, FTA would be prohibited from distributing any new federal funds to those states until certification is obtained.

"FTA is pleased that Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania have developed safety oversight programs that meet federal certification requirements and will strengthen rail transit safety in their states," said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. "With this certification, these three states' transit agencies can continue to receive federal funding."

The Arizona Department of Transportation is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Valley Metro light-rail system and the city of Tucson streetcar.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority heavy rail system and the city of Atlanta streetcar.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is responsible for the providing safety oversight of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority heavy rail, light rail and trolley lines; the Port Authority of Allegheny County light-rail system and the Cambria County Transit Authority incline.

FTA explains that to achieve certification, an SSO Program must meet several federal statutory requirements, including establishing an SSO agency that is financially and legally independent from the rail transit agencies it oversees. In addition, a state must ensure that its SSO agency adopts and enforces relevant federal and state safety laws, has investigatory authority and has appropriate financial and human resources for the number, size and complexity of the rail transit systems within the state's jurisdiction. Furthermore, SSO agency personnel responsible for performing safety oversight activities must be appropriately trained.