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Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) late last week announced the award of $148,500 in grants to eight transit-rail agencies in seven states for public awareness and safety education projects. The local agencies and OLI programs will work together to produce educational projects using the organization's "See Tracks? Think Train!" campaign, which was developed in partnership with the Association of American Railroads and the U.S. Department of Transportation.The grant-funded campaigns are aimed at increasing public awareness of transit-rail surroundings and helping people pay attention to potentially dangerous situations, OLI officials said in a press release.Ranging from $13,500 to $20,000, the grants require each agency to provide a 25 percent match.The winning agencies will use the funds to produce the following safety public awareness and education campaigns:• Metrolink will run a bilingual, targeted and coordinated campaign with a series of digital, social media, and radio public service announcements aimed at raising public awareness and improving pedestrian behavior around rail property.• Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit plans to conduct a "Be Track SMART" rail safety ad campaign in area movie theaters through February 2016.• The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will use the grant money to bolster its rail safety passenger education initiative on how to safely access the platforms and board the trains using a video and complementary material.• Metro Transit in Minneapolis will refresh public outreach messaging for motorists and pedestrians. This will include billboards, bus ads and bus wraps, platform kiosks and clings, and cards on vehicle interiors.• The Kansas City Streetcar Authority plans to carry out a campaign to communicate this safety message around streetcars: "Respect the rail: Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Ready"• The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Portland (TriMet) will execute a safety outreach marketing campaign surrounding Portland's new MAX Orange Line light-rail route, targeting people living or traveling in an area with quiet zones where there's been risky cyclist behavior around a light- and heavy-rail corridor. • Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority will launch a campaign to increase rail safety awareness in the Houston metro area among motorists and pedestrians through distribution of approved OLI materials, the use of "backpack" billboards worn by campaign representatives and social media.• Hampton Roads Transit's light-rail transit system will initiate an awareness campaign to educate and promote safety in the corridor in downtown Norfolk, Va.
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