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Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania have obtained federal certification of their transit-rail state safety oversight (SSO) programs, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced yesterday.
Federal law requires states with transit-rail systems in operation to obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs by April 15, 2019. States with transit-rail systems in the engineering or construction phase also must get their SSO programs certified by the deadline.
To become certified, an SSO program must meet several federal statutory requirements, including establishing an SSO agency that is financially and legally independent from the transit agencies it oversees, FTA officials said in a press release.
In Arizona, the state’s department of transportation is providing safety oversight of Valley Metro’s light-rail system and the city of Tucson streetcar. In Georgia, the state DOT is providing safety oversight of the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority heavy-rail system and the city of Atlanta streetcar.
In Pennsylvania, the state DOT is providing safety oversight of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority heavy-, light- and trolley lines; the Port Authority of Allegheny County light-rail system; and the Cambria County Transit Authority incline.
States that fail to meet the April 2019 deadline risk losing federal funds. Under the law, the FTA can't award new federal transit funds to agencies until certification is obtained.
Thirty states must obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs by the deadline. Now, 11 states have achieved SSO Program certification.