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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

FTA reminds states to set up safety oversight programs for transit rail

The states in blue are required to have SSO program certification by April 15, 2019.
Photo – Federal Transit Administration


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has notified 30 states where transit-rail systems operate that they must establish a State Safety Oversight (SSO) program by April 15, 2019.

Established in April 2016, the federal SSO program's final rule established a three-year timeframe for states to obtain certification for their SSO programs. If a state fails to obtain a certification, FTA will not obligate funds to transportation agencies in that state until certification is achieved, according to an FTA press release.

With the deadline less than two years away, FTA is encouraging states to act quickly to enact necessary legislation required to meet certification requirements, FTA officials said.

Currently, nine states have yet to enact legislation prior to FTA certification. By law, the April 2019 deadline cannot be waived or extended, according to FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes.

"The affected states should act to establish an FTA-certified SSO program that is compliant with federal law and provides the highest level of safety for their rail-transit riders and workers," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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