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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced that it has certified West Virginia's transit-rail state safety oversight (SSO) program. Federal law requires states with transit-rail systems to get their SSO programs certified by April 15, 2019. To achieve certification, an SSO must meet statutory requirements, including establishing an agency that's financially and legally independent from the transit agencies it oversees.In West Virginia, the state's department of transportation is responsible for providing safety oversight of Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit. The 3.6-mile system shuttles riders between the University of West Virginia's campuses. The automated people mover system features small vehicles that operate on an elevated guideway.States that fail to meet the certification deadline risk the loss of federal funds.Thirty states and the District of Columbia need to obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs. So far, 11 states and the district have earned the certification.Last month, FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams called on states to get SSO programs ready for certification by Sept. 30 or sooner.