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Earlier this week, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) awarded $194,000 in grants for eight transit-agency projects aimed at teaching motorists and pedestrians to be safe around tracks.In partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), OLI ran what turned out to be a competitive competition for the grants, with close to 20 agencies vying for the funds, OLI officials said in a press release."We were blown away at the response to our grant announcement," said OLI President and Chief Executive Officer Joyce Rose. "With a record 10.5 billion trips taken on public transportation in 2012, it is an important time to expand Operation Lifesaver's safety messages in the transit community."The FTA provided the funds for the grants, which totaled up to $25,000 each and required matching funds from nonfederal partners. To be considered, the proposals had to focus on safety education and public awareness, and use OLI-approved materials and logos coordinated through a state Operation Lifesaver program.The grant recipients include:•Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, which will target millennial-age male pedestrian and transit riders through a safety marketing campaign featuring Facebook and online ads, and nontraditional print and television public service announcements.•The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which will spread digital and social media ads and public safety video announcements along the Green Line that serves a dense mix of residential and commercial areas with schools, offices, restaurants and nightlife venues. Sixty-two percent of the system's trolley and auto collisions occur in the area.•Caltrain, which will conduct a safety campaign using rail safety videos that will be produced locally by youths currently attending a transit safety video production camp. The agency also will work with teens and schools to product rail safety presentations and host a Rail Safety Month film festival.•Central Florida's SunRail commuter rail service, which is slated to begin operations in 2014, will work with Florida Operation Lifesaver to teach local law enforcement officials how to help keep commuters, residents and visitors safe through effective enforcement of railroad crossing and anti-trespassing laws.
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