1. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
What is the regulaton for weapons on a public transit bus? Specifically guns and knives.
Answer:
Hello, Thank you for your inquiry, and your concern for public safety. FTA does not have any regulation that limits the carry of weapons on federally funded public transit vehicles, but that does not mean that carrying weapons on public transit is totally unrestricted. Generally speaking, the rule for public transportation will be the same for the jurisdiction where that vehicle is located. For example, if you are on a train that is in VA, you would be subject to Virginia state law (open carry generally permitted). However, when that train crosses into Washington, DC, you are likely now in violation of the law, as open carry is not (to my knowledge) permitted in DC. It is also a good idea to contact your local transit agency before you ride. When State or Local laws permit, transit agencies may restrict the carry of weapons beyond what is acceptable otherwise (a sort of check-your-gun-at-the-door policy that is not uncommon with businesses in States with open carry laws). In some transit police agencies it is considered "disorderly conduct" if the presence of a firearm alarms other passengers. In these cases, if you aren't able to stow your weapon (for which you might need a concealed carry permit), you won't be able to bring it into the system. Unfortunately, this is not always a clear cut issue, but I hope that I have been able to point you in the right direction. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me directly. Respectfully, Joseph W. Powell FTA Bus Safety Program Manager joseph.powell@dot.gov
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2. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Where can I submit questions pertaining to Safety/Security?
Answer:
To submit Safety/Security related questions please visit their website at http://ftawebprod/ContactUsTool/Public/FAQs.aspx?CategoryID=17&SubCategoryID=
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3. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Can FTA employees requiring random drug and alcohol testing be included in a consortium that is for CDL drivers or must they have their own random pool?
Answer:
The short answer is yes. However, the consortium must be tested at the higher FMCSA annual minimum random rate of 50%. The pools may also be separated to take advantage of the lower 25% annual minimum random rate for FTA-regulated employers. The FTA regulation allows for this in 49 CFR Part 655.45(k): http://www.fta.dot.gov/safetysecurity/12533_12598.html Clarification on employees who split time between motor carrier and transit operations: http://www.fta.dot.gov/safetysecurity/12533_13838.html (3rd frequently asked question) The employer does need to make the decision on how they would like their random pool treated - if they would like a separate random pool or be in a comingled pool (FMCSA-regulated and FTA-regulated together). Please feel free to contact FTA D&A Program Manager, Jerry Powers directly at 617-494-2395 or gerald.powers@dot.gov.
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4. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Are local Illinois public transportation bus lines required by Federal law to follow the commercial vehicle laws on the hours of service. 14hrs a day on duty, required 30 min break within 8 hrs on duty, Only 70 hours service in 168 hours, and only one 16 hour day available in a 7 day time period. I am asking as they are not required to keep a log and can violate these rules without any record of this happening. These Buses sometimes also go out of State on passenger runs
Answer:
Hello, and thank you for your inquiry. We appreciate your concern for highway safety. The answer to your question is multi-layered: • First, you should know that the FTA has a voluntary bus safety outreach program that makes recommendations, but does not have any regulatory requirements (http://bussafety.fta.dot.gov/). • This program is complemented by transit industry organizations: APTA, CTAA, and AASHTO. • FTA, APTA, CTAA, and AASHTO all recommend that transit systems establish hours-of-service (HOS) limitations for their drivers—and that they track their drivers’ hours to ensure they don’t violate this policy. • As you are aware, there is a federal agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) , that does have HOS requirements for passenger-carrying vehicles (49 CFR 395.5), and (49 CFR 395.1(e)). However, most public transit systems are operated by Municipal or County governments, so they are generally not subject to the FMCSRs (49 CFR 390.3(f)(2)). • Many States have motor carrier regulations based on the FMCSRs. Public transit systems may or may not be subject to these regulations—this would be on a State-by-State and system-by-system basis. Your best resource for motor carrier regulations (both State and Federal) in a particular State would be that State’s FMCSA Division Office. I hope this explanation makes sense. If you need me to clarify anything for you, or have any other concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. (to ensure that the included hyperlinks are active for you, I am sending you a response directly from my email account as well as through the CONTACT US system) Joseph W. Powell FTA – Office of Safety and Oversight Bus Safety Program Manager 202 366 1631 Joseph.powell@dot.gov
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5. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Recently I obtained a physical copy of the FTA's "Emergency Preparedness Guide for Transit Employees on the job/at home. I would like to present a copy to each of our employees. Could you mail us 20 copies? Is there a fee? Mail to: Ripley County Transit, Inc. P. O. Box 541 Doniphan, MO 63935 If sent by fedex or ups: send it to: Ripley County Transit, Inc. RR2 Box 1121, Doniphan, MO 63935
Answer:
The primary point of contact/official for 'physical'/"hard copies" of the FTA's "Emergency Preparedness Guide for Transit Employees on the job/at home is: Colleen Meyer, Senior Program Coordinator, Workplace Safety and Security, 848 932 6580, coleenm@rutgers.edu. Alternatively, you may find and download electronic copies of the guide by following this link - http://www.fta.dot.gov/TSO/12537_12977.html.
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6. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
On a light rail passenger vehicle (could be heavy rail or bus as well), must both the right and left sensitive edge be functioning before that vehicle is sent into service. Has a vehicle where the right sensitive edging was working and the left side was not. Management sent the vehicle into service whereas the mechanic was not comfortable with it. So is it required for both side of the door sensitive edging required to be working before the vehicle is sent out into service.
Answer:
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7. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
In his "Dear Transit Stakeholders" letter (6 NOV 2014) Thomas Littleton briefly mentioned the Interim Safety Certification Training Program. It seems that this training program, and associated Federal grant funds, are focused only on SSOAs and their staff. In which way do the new safety training program initiatives directly support transit agencies and their staff?
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry. In Tom Littleton's "Dear Transit Stakeholders" letter (6 NOV 2014) he briefly mentioned the Interim Safety Certification Training Program. The Interim Program was developed and published in the Federal Register for a notice and comment period (April 30, 2014). Based on the comments received from industry and FTA's evaluation of the comments, FTA has proposed a revised Interim Program that is being vetted now thru the USDOT Secretary's Office as well as the US Office of Personnel Management. After comments are received from those offices, FTA will publish a final Interim Program in the Federal Register. The final Interim Program may show some changes that make it difficult to answer your question fully as the revisions being vetted currently have a wider focus area on industry employees. To answer the second part of your question, FTA offers over 40 courses directly supporting industry and their staff (http://transit-safety.fta.dot.gov/Training/new/Request.aspx). We are in the process of revising all of our "general industry" courses to reflect safety management system (SMS) principles. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at 202-450-7326 or ruth.lyons@dot.gov Thank you. Ruth Lyons
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8. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Aside from passive inclusion in the training section, does FTA recommend or mandate FEMA's Incident Command Structure (ICS) training?
Answer:
Mr. Reiger, Thank you for your question. ANSWER: While FTA does, indeed, recommend FEMA’s Incident Command Structure training, we do not mandate it. That said and concerning your follow up questions, i.e. regarding System Security Plans and whether FTA Guidelines prevail over TSA Baseline Guidance and will future FTA audits include a review of the SSP: ANSWER: As a recipient of FTA funds, FTA’s Master Agreement requires the grantee to comply with all FTA requirements, including the System Security Plan required under the State Safety Oversight program (49 CFR Part 659). Keep in mind that the primary agencies responsible for SSO program compliance are the state safety oversight agencies (SSOAs), with FTA having more of a direct role with the SSOAs. Given, however, new safety authority in MAP-21, FTA now has the ability to directly conduct audits, examinations, and investigations of a transit system’s safety aspects. Regarding whether FTA’s guidelines take precedent over TSA’s, the TSA’s Surface Transportation Security Inspector program is supposed to complement FTA’s SSO requirements, but because the BASE program is not as comprehensive as the Part 659 requirements (and participation is voluntary, in contrast to Part 659’s mandates), participation in TSA’s BASE program would not be an acceptable substitute for a well-drafted SSP. It is important to note that 49 CFR Part 659 only applies to rail transit agencies, however, not to bus agencies. TSO-20 would not audit Long Beach Transit. This notwithstanding, FTA Triennial Review auditors may still ask if a grantee has a System Security Plan but they would not assess the contents in any detailed way. Finally, it should be further noted that under FTA's Bus Program, within FTA'S Office of Transit Safety and Oversight-Office of Review (TSO-20), Bus oriented transit agencies may request technical assistance. Respectfully, Tony Tisdale Federal Transit Administration
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9. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
After a transit bus operator has their initial training, how often does the FTA require that they attend a Refresher Training conducted by their Transit Authority?
Answer:
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) does not presently address the question of bus operator refresher training through regulations. The FTA Transit Bus Safety Program does, however, provide voluntary guidance in that regard. It is suggested that bus operators receive periodic refresher training in at least three skill areas: defensive driving, passenger assistance, on-vehicle emergency response. As to how often that refresher training should take place, that is a decision of individual transit systems. That refresher experience could be in a classroom setting, on the bus with a trainer, in a safety meeting, or through supervisory ride-alongs and coaching. For further information on the FTA Bus Safety Program, please visit the following site: http://bussafety.fta.dot.gov Thank you for your commitment to bus safety.
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10. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
In Safety advisory 14-1, no mention is made of the necessity of physical characteristics training and testing. It is impossible for roadway workers and operating crews to maintain a high degree of safety unless all are trained, tested, and conversant in physical characteristics. For instance, track designations, signal locations and governance, safe locations in tunnels, undergrade bridges on open rights of way, and electric traction appurtenances. Why is physical characteristics training and testing disregarded by FTA and by many of the agencies it regulates?
Answer:
Thank you so much for your email. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to submit it. Also, we would like to clarify that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) does appreciate the importance of physical characteristics training and testing as a critical element of an effective roadway worker protection program. While it was not a direct focus of the lessons discussed in Safety Advisory 14-1, we certainly anticipate that rail transit agencies will identify these programs as part of their overall training and qualification activities for workers accessing the right-of-way. In addition, we have asked each rail transit agency to submit their RWP programs with the completed RWP Assessment Checklist. This will provide FTA with the opportunity to review how different agencies approach teaching the physical characteristics of the rail transit system and addressing them in the protection of workers. If you are filling out the RWP Assessment Checklist on behalf of your agency, please pay specific attention to the following questions, where FTA would look for additional information on how physical characteristics training and testing are used at your agency: Question 24 – Does the program include an Access Guide that indicates areas where sight distances or Right-of-Way awareness is compromised? Question 30 a-d - How are working limits delineated? Question 34 – Does the program establish varying levels of responsibility of Right-of-Way Worker qualifications? Please explain. Questions 57 & 58 – These are specific to the Demonstrated Proficiency requirements of the agencies. Question 64 – This question is intended to find out the qualifications of the individuals that provide the training. The checklist responses will be compiled and shared to provide a benchmark for continuous improvement of the safety of all Roadway Workers.
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11. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
Where can I find more information regarding Safety/Security?
Answer:
For more information pertaining to Safety/Security please visit their website at http://www.fta.dot.gov/12419.html
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12. Category:
Safety/Security
Question:
We need to develop a Security Plan for the transit district technology, email and credit card purchases. The question: What IT Security Consultants would you recommend to assist in writing the Security Plan and processes when there has been a breach? Thank you, SueAnn Coffin 503-361-7588
Answer:
Ms. Coffin, Regarding your need to develop a Security Plan for transit district technology, i.e. relating to email and credit card purchases and also your query regarding recommended IT Security ‘Consultants’ to assist in writing a Security Plan and processes, particularly when there has been a breach; listed below are two trusted transit industry partners who work in tandem with the Federal government regarding transit (IT) safety, security and emergency management matters. 1. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) http://www.apta.com/about/generalinfo/Pages/default.aspx is a recommended resource and reference. Go to the following link http://www.apta.com/resources/standards/Documents/APTA%20SS-ECS-RP-001-14%20RP.pdf and there you should find an APTA Recommended Practice Guidance Document entitled, "Cybersecurity Consideration for Public Transit:" Specifically; under Section #8 and page #15 of the document; you should find a listing of multiple authorities and resources on point with your request. 2. Another trusted transit industry partner and recommended resource to tap is the Public Transportation-Information Sharing & Analysis Center (PT-ISAC). Go to this link http://www.apta.com/resources/safetyandsecurity/Pages/ISAC.aspx for more information about the PT-ISAC and how they assist their members with their IT Security concerns and how their initiatives and services may also have utility for your needs. Respectfully, Tony Tisdale Federal Transit Administration Lead Emergency Coordinator Office of Safety Review-Emergency Management & Public Safety US DOT HQs-Washington, DC
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13. Category:
Safety/Security
Sub-Category:
Rail
Question:
Hello, For a security-related Threat & Vulnerability Assessment (TVA), is there an FTA-preferred methodology that should be used to conduct the analysis? Is there an open source FTA document that provides the latest tables for security-related (as opposed to safety/hazard) Threat Severity, Threat Likelihood/Frequency of Occurrence, and Criticality Matrix? Thank you, Ryan McNally
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidance concerning a security-related Threat & Vulnerability Assessment (TVA) and an FTA-preferred methodology. The short answer is no, there is not a FTA-preferred methodology. As background and for general information purposes, as well as any future transit security requests for assistance and guidance from the FTA; the agency’s former Office of Safety & Security has undergone a major transition and has been renamed the FTA Office of Safety and Oversight (TSO) - http://www.fta.dot.gov/tso.html. Accordingly: the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) legislation, http://www.fta.dot.gov/FAST.html now serves as the foundation and primary impetus for FTA TSO’s initiatives and guidance to the transit industry, with transit safety being the primary focus. For transit security guidance, please directly contact Chris McKay (571) 227 2160 – Christopher.McKay@dhs.gov of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Thank you.
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