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Infectious Disease Exposure

FTA encourages each transit agency to consider identifying mitigations or strategies related to exposure to infectious diseases through the Safety Risk Management process described in the agency’s ASP.

No. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law specifies that your agency must follow guidance from either the CDC or a State health authority. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

The MPO is responsible for integrating performance measures from the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation into their planning processes. The Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning regulation says that “an MPO shall integrate in the metropolitan transportation planning process, directly or by reference, the goals, objectives, performance measures, and targets described in other State transportation plans and transportation processes, as well as any plans developed under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 by providers of public transportation, required as part of a performance-based program…” (23 CFR 450.306(d)(4)). The regulation includes a list of plans the MPO must integrate into its planning process, and PTASP is one of them.

FTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a final regulation on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning that established new requirements for MPOs and State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to coordinate with transit providers, set performance targets, and integrate those performance targets and performance plans into their planning documents by certain dates. As part of this performance-based approach, recipients of federal highway and transit funds are required to link investment priorities from their Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to achieve performance targets.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation requires the State or transit agency who drafted the Agency Safety Plan to make its safety performance targets available to States and MPOs to aid in the planning process, and to coordinate with States and MPOs in the selection of State and MPO safety performance targets. MPOs will integrate transit agency performance targets and performance plans into their planning documents, including the TIP, by certain dates set in the FTA/FHWA planning regulations. States will incorporate transit agency safety performance targets into their STIP. The safety performance targets will help States and MPOs to develop their investment priorities for upcoming transit projects within their jurisdictions for at least the upcoming four years. States, MPOs, and transit agencies should coordinate with each other throughout this planning process. Learn more about transportation planning.

MPOs should initiate discussions with transit agencies, the State Department of Transportation (DOT), and planning partners to update their Metropolitan Planning Agreements as required by the FTA/FHWA planning regulations. This presents an opportunity for the MPO and its planning partners to clarify roles and responsibilities for developing and sharing performance data, setting performance targets, reporting of targets, and tracking progress toward meeting targets, through a formal agreement. The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation requires a transit agency or State DOT to make its safety performance targets available to States and MPOs to aid in the planning process and must coordinate with the States and MPOs in the selection of State and MPO safety performance targets, to the maximum extent practicable.

When an MPO identifies and sets performance targets for transit safety and transit asset management performance measures, the MPO must work cooperatively with the transit providers in the metropolitan planning area to determine appropriate performance targets. The MPO may adopt a transit provider's targets, or in regions with multiple transit providers, identify appropriate targets that reflect the needs of that region.

The process for setting performance targets for safety and transit asset management, sharing data and the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans and TAM plans, as well as frequency for updating the targets, and tracking progress toward meeting the targets, must be defined within the metropolitan planning agreements or other written provisions between the MPO, the State Department of Transportation, and transit providers. The decisions as to whether the MPO targets are the same or different from the targets set by each transit agency, and how often the MPO will adopt new targets when a transit provider updates their safety targets, are up to the MPO and transit provider.

MPOs are required to reference the safety performance targets and Agency Safety Plans in their TIPs and MTPs updated or amended after July 20, 2021. The planning products must include a description of the performance measures and performance targets used in assessing the performance of the transportation system, for transit asset management, safety, and the Federal Highway Administration performance measures. This should also include, to the maximum extent practicable, a description of the anticipated effect of the TIP toward achieving the performance targets identified in the MTP, linking investment priorities to those performance targets.

The MPO’s initial transit safety targets are set within 180 days of receipt of the safety performance targets from the transit agencies. The MPO then revisits its targets based on the schedule for preparation of its system performance report that is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The first MTP update or amendment to be approved on or after July 20, 2021, is required to include the MPO’s transit safety targets.

The next MTP update, but not each MTP amendment, also includes an updated system performance report that must include the MPO’s transit safety targets. MPOs may choose to update their transit targets more frequently, but the second federally required system performance report must reference the information contained in the first federally required system performance report.

For more information, please refer to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Informational Guidance: Roles & Responsibilities fact sheet.

MPOs have 180 days from receipt of transit agency safety performance targets to prepare their initial public transportation safety performance targets, as required by the FTA/FHWA planning regulations. MPOs should work with their transit providers to identify appropriate targets for that metropolitan area.

Each transit provider is required to review its Agency Safety Plan annually and update the plan, including the safety performance targets, as necessary. The MPO is not required to set new transit safety targets each year but can choose to revisit the MPO’s safety performance targets based on the schedule for preparation of its system performance report that is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The first MPO MTP update or amendment to be approved on or after July 20, 2021, must include the transit safety performance targets for the region. The next MTP update, but not each MTP amendment, also includes an updated system performance report that incorporates transit safety performance targets.

Each agency and MPO should establish the time horizon for their safety performance targets. FTA has prepared the Safety Performance Targets Guide to highlight considerations and methods for developing safety performance targets.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation does not include requirements for MPOs related to the ASP review and approval process. The regulation requires States and transit agencies to “make their safety performance targets available to States and MPOs to aid in the planning process.” The regulation also States that “to the maximum extent practicable, States and transit agencies must coordinate with States and MPOs in the selection of State and MPO safety performance targets.” Please see FTA’s PTASP Informational Guidance: Roles and Responsibilities fact sheet and FTA’s PTASP Frequently Asked Questions for information on the role of the MPO.

Under the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation, there is no requirement for the MPO to certify, except in a case where the MPO is a recipient of Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funding and passes that funding to your agency as its subrecipient. In this situation, the MPO is required to certify compliance in FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). The MPO is certifying that it, and all of its applicable subrecipients (including your agency), met all applicable PTASP regulation requirements. 

Although an MPO is not required under the PTASP regulation to certify compliance, the PTASP regulation may obligate them to coordinate with a rail transit agency in the selection and establishment of safety performance targets.

National Public Transportation Safety Plan (NSP)

As part of PTASP requirements, transit agencies must set safety performance targets in their safety plans based on the following safety performance measures that FTA has established in the National Safety Plan:

  • Fatalities
  • Injuries
  • Safety Events
  • System Reliability

After establishing their safety performance targets, transit agencies provide them to their States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), along with their Agency Safety Plans. State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and MPOs must reference those safety performance targets and plans within the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and long-range statewide transportation plan and the MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The safety performance targets and performance-based plans should inform a transit agency’s investment priorities. Those investment priorities should be carried forward within the MPO’s and State DOT’s planning processes.


PTASP Applicability

The PTASP regulation (49 CFR part 673) requires transit agencies that receive FTA grants to develop and implement an Agency Safety Plan (ASP) that establishes policies, processes and procedures to support implementation of a Safety Management System (SMS). SMS is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing safety. It brings management and labor together to control risk better, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more precisely.


Since no two public transportation systems are alike, the regulation sets scalable and flexible minimum standards for Agency Safety Plans (ASP), including requirements for the identification, assessment, and mitigation of risk and strategies to minimize exposure to hazards, a safety training program, safety performance targets, and a process and timeline for conducting an annual review and update of the ASP.

The regulation applies to all operators of public transportation systems that are recipients and sub-recipients of FTA grant funds. Specifically, if you operate public transportation and are a recipient or sub-recipient of Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds or if you operate a rail transit system that is subject to FTA’s State Safety Oversight program, then you must comply with the PTASP regulation. FTA is deferring applicability of this requirement for operators that only receive funds through FTA’s Formula Grants for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program (Section 5310) and/or Formula Grants for Rural Areas (Section 5311).

The regulation does not apply to certain modes of transit service that are subject to the safety jurisdiction of another Federal agency, including passenger ferry operations that are regulated by the United States Coast Guard, and commuter rail operations that are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21), Congress amended Federal transit law to require each operator of a public transportation system to draft and carry out an ASP to reduce the likelihood of safety events. The ASP will help operators better manage safety risk through the development and implementation of a proactive Safety Management System (SMS).

From 2008 to 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board reported on 13 rail transit accidents that, collectively, resulted in 15 fatalities, 349 injuries, and over $57 million in property damages. During that same period, bus and rail transit agencies reported over 63,000 incidents, approximately 2,300 fatalities, and over 95,000 injuries to FTA’s National Transit Database (NTD). In many cases, these safety events occurred after long periods of excellent safety records, but underlying poor safety cultures, deficiencies in the training and supervision of employees, deficiencies in the maintenance of equipment and infrastructure, and the lack of proactive safety risk management and oversight resulted in sudden catastrophic events.

Through this regulation, FTA intends to improve safety by guiding transit agencies to more effectively and proactively manage safety risk in their systems and to predict and reduce the frequency of these safety events.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law amends FTA’s safety program at 49 U.S.C. 5329(d) by adding to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) requirements at 49 CFR part 673. These changes apply to transit agencies that must have an Agency Safety Plan (ASP) under the PTASP regulation. See additional details on PTASP applicability in the PTASP Applicability Questions section. Most of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requirements apply to transit agencies based on the size of the urbanized areas they serve.

FTA’s February 2022 Dear Colleague Letter informed the transit industry about Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to the PTASP requirements at Section 5329(d) and established compliance dates for implementing these new provisions. By July 31, 2022, a transit agency that receives Section 5307 funding and serves a large urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more) must have established a Safety Committee compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to PTASP requirements. By December 31, 2022, the Safety Committee must have complied with the statutory requirement to approve an update to the agency’s Agency Safety Plan (ASP), incorporating applicable Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to PTASP requirements.

By December 31, 2022, a transit agency serving a small urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of fewer than 200,000) must have reviewed and updated its ASP in cooperation with frontline employee representatives. If the agency’s ASP was not developed in cooperation with frontline employee representatives, FTA expects the agency to have updated its ASP in cooperation with frontline employee representatives by the compliance date.

Transit agencies can identify the urbanized areas they serve based on data reported to the National Transit Database (NTD). FTA publishes this data publicly on its NTD Data website. The Annual Database Federal Funding Allocation file shows the urbanized areas served and the populations of those urbanized areas.


Yes. Your agency must meet the requirements for agencies that receive Section 5307 funds and serve an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more. This includes requirements for the establishment of a joint labor-management safety committee, a risk reduction program, and new safety training requirements.

Yes. Transit agencies considered small public transportation providers under the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation that serve a large urbanized area must meet the requirements for agencies serving a large urbanized area.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans regulation is not applicable to tribal transit systems, unless they are recipients or subrecipients of Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds.

The PTASP regulation takes a risk-based approach to managing safety, and FTA determined that these operators pose a lower risk than larger operators. FTA also received several comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from small operators requesting a reduction in financial and administrative burden.

Additionally, a report on Admissibility and Public Availability of Transit Safety Planning Records from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine noted that while 6,800 public transit agencies receive federal funds, FTA should concentrate its initial implementation and oversight on roughly the country’s largest two dozen transit systems, which account for the majority of the country’s ridership. 

As a result, FTA is deferring the applicability of the requirements of the regulation for approximately 2,000 small operators. This is a significant reduction in burden to small and rural operators compared to the original requirements proposed in the NPRM.

FTA will continue to evaluate the safety risk posed by small operators to determine the need for future regulation. Any future application of PTASP requirements or other safety requirements for small operators will be subject to public notice and comment.

Yes. If your transit agency provides public transportation service and is a recipient or subrecipient of Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds, the PTASP regulation applies to your agency.

Yes. Recipients of Section 5307 funds are responsible for establishing an ASP that meets the requirements of 49 U.S.C. § 5329(d) and 49 CFR Part 673 and ensuring that your ASP covers all the agency’s public transit services (directly operated and contracted). If a recipient contracts with another entity to operate transit service, the recipient is responsible for ensuring that each of the requirements of 49 U.S.C. § 5329(d) and Part 673 are satisfied through the terms and conditions of its contract. The recipient is also responsible for ensuring that its contractor carries out the processes as described in the ASP.

Your agency could request that your contractor develop elements of your agency’s ASP, but your agency, as the recipient of Section 5307 funds, is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulation and certifying compliance annually — not the contractor. Alternatively, your agency could develop the ASP and ensure that your contractor follows it.

If you are a small public transportation provider, your State is responsible for developing your ASP unless your agency has opted out of a State-developed plan. A small public transportation provider is a recipient or subrecipient of Federal financial assistance under Section 5307 that does not operate any rail service and operates 100 or fewer vehicles in non-rail modes during peak revenue service. All fixed-route service counts as a single mode, and each non-fixed-route mode counts individually.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation applies to all operators of public transportation systems that are recipients and subrecipients of Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds and operators of rail transit systems that are subject to FTA’s State Safety Oversight program.

The regulation does not apply to services that are exclusively funded with CMAQ funds, unless or until service is funded with Section 5307 funds. If an agency receives Section 5307 funds and uses these funds for any allowable purpose, the agency must comply with the PTASP regulation and have an ASP.

PTASP General Requirements

Transit agencies and States may use FTA’s Statewide Transportation Planning (Section 5305) and FTA’s Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds to assist with the development of ASPs.

Transit operators may use a variety of other FTA funding sources for the implementation of their ASPs, including Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307), State of Good Repair (Section 5337), and Bus and Bus Facilities (Section 5339) funds. Those funding sources may be used for activities that are eligible under the applicable grant program, independent of the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation.

Because some State Departments of Transportation (DOT) that are required by the PTASP regulation (49 CFR part 673.11(d)) to draft and certify ASPs on behalf of small public transportation providers do not receive Section 5307 funds, States may use FTA’s Planning Program (Section 5305) funds to develop ASPs. FTA encourages State DOTs to coordinate with the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) located within their States to determine whether the States should use Planning Program funds through Section 5305 for the one-time drafting and certifying of ASPs for small public transportation providers. View FTA’s website for additional information on FTA’s Grant Programs.

Recipients should refer to the statute for applicable PTASP requirements. See FTA’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law webpage for more information on the law. This page also includes helpful fact sheets. For details on changes to the PTASP requirements, see FTA’s February 17, 2022 Dear Colleague Letter and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes. As new technical assistance resources become available, they will be posted to FTA’s PTASP TAC Resource Library, and FTA will send GovDelivery email announcements.

FTA is providing the industry with templates, guidance documents, webinars, and technical assistance to assist with the development and implementation of ASPs. FTA also offers a series of Safety Management System courses designed to assist the industry, and intends to develop additional courses, as needed. Visit the PTASP Technical Assistance Center for additional information.

FTA also developed an ASP Directory to support the transit industry in developing, implementing, and updating their ASPs. The ASPs in the directory illustrate the various ways agencies throughout the transit industry are implementing the PTASP requirements. While transit agencies are not required to submit their ASPs to FTA, transit agencies may voluntarily share their ASPs for inclusion in FTA’s ASP Directory. Disclaimer: FTA has not assessed whether any of these plans meet applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. This list is provided for technical assistance only. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement or approval by FTA. Some transit agency websites may not be up to date.

Recipients are required to certify that they have established a compliant ASP as part of the annual Certifications and Assurances for FTA grants and cooperative agreements (Category 2). Safety plan documentation requirements in the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation require transit agencies to maintain documents that set forth their ASP, including those related to the implementation of their Safety Management System (SMS), and results from SMS processes and activities. These documents must be maintained for a minimum of three years after they are created.  

FTA monitors these certifications in its Transit Award Management System (TrAMS), and uses its Triennial and State Management Review processes to assess compliance with the requirements of the rule. In addition, State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs) are responsible for ensuring compliance with each rail transit agency for which it has responsibility. FTA will integrate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to PTASP requirements into the Triennial and State Management Review processes beginning in 2023.

Transit operators must certify compliance with the PTASP regulation requirements to be eligible to receive Federal transit funds. Failure to comply with a requirement of the regulation subjects a grantee to a range of FTA enforcement options depending upon the circumstances, including, but not limited to, actions authorized by the Public Transportation Safety Program (Section 5329) and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR part 200.3392 CFR part 200.340). Penalties may include a recipient being ineligible to receive certain FTA grant funds until the recipient satisfies the requirements of the regulation, or FTA imposing more frequent reporting requirements until the recipient achieves compliance.

No. Transit agencies are not required to submit their ASPs to FTA. FTA requires each transit agency, direct recipient, or State to annually self-certify that they have ASPs that meet the requirements of this regulation. FTA is using its existing Certifications and Assurances process for this effort. FTA assesses compliance with the requirements of this regulation through its oversight review programs.

The ASP approval required by the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation occurs at the transit agency level. For rail transit agencies, it is also conducted at the State Safety Oversight Agency. Your transit agency’s Board of Directors—or Equivalent Authority—is required to approve your agency’s ASP. By doing so, they are indicating that the ASP meets all applicable PTASP regulation requirements. The ASP approval required by the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation occurs at the transit agency level. For rail transit agencies, it is also conducted at the State Safety Oversight Agency. Your transit agency’s Board of Directors—or Equivalent Authority—is required to approve your agency’s ASP. By doing so, they are indicating that the ASP meets all applicable PTASP regulation requirements. 

Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) recipients, rail transit agencies in FTA’s State Safety Oversight program, and States make the PTASP certification in TrAMS. By certifying, the entities are saying that their organization and all of their applicable Section 5307 subrecipients have met all of the applicable PTASP regulation requirements. This certification is not limited to the ASP document. It is a certification that the entity and all of its Section 5307 subrecipients have met all applicable PTASP regulation requirements.

Yes. FTA has provided guidance that agencies can use appendices or referenced documents in their ASP to address Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation requirements. When your Accountable Executive signs the ASP and your Board of Directors or Equivalent Authority approves the ASP, they are indicating that the ASP meets the requirements of the PTASP regulation. Therefore, any referenced documents or appendices that are used to address PTASP regulation requirements would need to be part of the review process for the reviewer to confirm that the ASP meets PTASP regulation requirements. This applies to the initial ASP review and approval as well as the annual review and update process.

An operator’s data may be protected under State law. FTA does not have specific statutory data protection authority for ASPs nor the information collected through the implementation of ASPs.

PTASP Roles and Responsibilities

Yes. The Accountable Executive may be a contractor if that person has control or direction over the human and capital resources needed to develop and maintain both the agency’s Agency Safety Plan (ASP) and Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plan. The definition of “Accountable Executive” from the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation is a single, identifiable person who has ultimate responsibility for carrying out the ASP of a public transportation agency; responsibility for carrying out the agency’s TAM Plan; and control or direction over the human and capital resources needed to develop and maintain both the agency’s ASP, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5329(d), and the agency’s TAM Plan in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5326.

Bus agencies may either identify a CSO/Safety Management System (SMS) Executive or designate the Accountable Executive to serve as the CSO/SMS Executive.

Rail transit agencies may allow the Accountable Executive to also serve as the CSO or SMS Executive but should consider whether the Accountable Executive has the capacity to support SMS implementation and operation along with other responsibilities. The rail transit agency’s State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) may provide further guidance on this topic based on its familiarity with the rail transit agencies under its jurisdiction. For more information, please refer to FTA’s CSO SMS Executive Fact Sheet.

Yes. A Chief Safety Officer or SMS Executive can also be responsible for security in their transit system. In rail transit systems, Chief Safety Officers cannot have additional operational and maintenance responsibilities, but rather must be dedicated to ensuring safety within the system as a full-time responsibility. Rail transit agencies may petition FTA to allow its Chief Safety Officer to serve multiple roles given administrative and financial hardships with having a single, dedicated, and full-time Chief Safety Officer. Similarly, FTA recommends bus transit systems that operate more than 100 vehicles in peak revenue service to have a dedicated Chief Safety Officer, given the increased safety risk in those systems, although, this is not a requirement.

Small transit providers who are Section 5307 recipients and subrecipients may have their Chief Safety Officer serve other functions, including the areas of operations, maintenance, and grant administration. For these transit agencies, the Chief Safety Officer may be a full-time employee of the transit system who has responsibility for duties other than safety, a part-time employee of the transit system, or a contractor. To illustrate, in a small bus agency, the general manager or operations manager may be the same individual as the Chief Safety Officer or SMS Executive.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation requires transit agencies to identify a CSO who has responsibility for safety and the authority and responsibility for the day-to-day implementation and operation of the agency’s Safety Management System (SMS). In rail transit agencies, the PTASP regulation states that the CSO may not serve in other operational or maintenance capacities. Supplementary FTA guidance provides that a rail transit CSO may have additional responsibilities that have a nexus to safety, including, but not limited to, security, asset management, and training. (See FTA’s Chief Safety Officer Factsheet). A rail transit agency’s State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) is responsible for determining whether it is permissible for a rail transit agency’s CSO to have additional responsibilities.

An agency can designate a contactor as the CSO as long as the individual meets the requirements for the CSO role established in the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation. The regulation states that this must be “an adequately trained individual who has responsibility for safety and reports directly to a transit agency's chief executive officer, general manager, president, or equivalent officer. A CSO may not serve in other operational or maintenance capacities, unless the CSO is employed by a transit agency that is a small public transportation provider as defined in this part, or a public transportation provider that does not operate a rail fixed guideway public transportation system.”

Risk-Based Inspection

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made risk-based inspection programs a requirement for every State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) that oversees safety at each Rail Transit Agency (RTA) under its jurisdiction. On October 21, 2022, FTA issued Special Directives to all SSOAs to develop and implement risk-based inspection programs in accordance with changes to FTA’s Public Transportation Safety Program.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Special Directives on risk-based inspections require that an SSOA has the authority to: 1) enter the facilities of the RTA, 2) inspect RTA activities, including infrastructure, equipment, records, personnel, and data, and 3) conduct inspections with and without advance notice to the RTA. Each RTA required to have an Agency Safety Plan (ASP) under the PTASP regulation must incorporate into its ASP the policies and procedures for its SSOA to access facilities and data necessary for the SSOA’s risk-based inspection program. Each RTA must share the data it collects when identifying and evaluating safety risks.

Yes. Each Rail Transit Agency (RTA) must coordinate with its State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) to develop policies and procedures for the SSOA to access facilities and data necessary for the SSOA’s risk-based inspection program. These policies and procedures must be incorporated into the RTA’s ASP.

FTA will review and approve risk-based inspection program development requirements no later than October 21, 2024.

Submission instructions will be made available later this year. FTA will provide a checklist for State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs) to self-assess the completeness of their development documentation prior to submission.

FTA has conducted a series of webinars for the risk-based inspection requirement. Webinar recordings, presentations, and additional technical assistance resources can be found on the Risk-Based Inspection Programs website. Further questions can be submitted to FTA-RBI@dot.gov.

Safety Committee

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires the Safety Committee to approve an agency’s Agency Safety Plan (ASP) and any updates to the ASP. Approval by the Board of Directors or equivalent entity should be carried out after approval by the Safety Committee, using the timeframe established by the transit agency’s ASP.

The Safety Committee also is responsible for, at a minimum: (1) identifying and recommending risk-based mitigations or strategies necessary to reduce the likelihood and severity of consequences identified through the agency's safety risk assessment; (2) identifying mitigations or strategies that may be ineffective, inappropriate, or were not implemented as intended; and (3) identifying safety deficiencies for purposes of continuous improvement.

It depends. If the existing joint labor-management committee is compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes, that committee is sufficient to meet this requirement. However, if the joint labor-management committee has not met the statutory requirements, the agency must establish a compliant Safety Committee.

The new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires that an agency’s Safety Committee must have an equal number of frontline employee representatives and management representatives. Each agency should determine the appropriate size of its Safety Committee.

If your agency receives Section 5307 funds and serves an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more, then it must establish a Safety Committee compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes. If a labor organization does not represent your frontline workforce, your agency may determine how frontline employee representatives will be selected.

Frontline employee representatives must be selected by a labor organization that represents the plurality of the agency’s frontline workforce employed by the agency or a contractor, to the extent labor organizations represent the frontline workforce. For transit agencies with multiple labor organizations whose membership includes frontline workers, the labor organization that represents the greatest number of frontline workers employed by the agency or contractor selects frontline employee representatives to serve on the Safety Committee. This labor organization may select frontline employee representatives for the Safety Committee throughout the organization, not just from within their membership.

Frontline employee representatives must be selected by a labor organization representing the plurality of the agency’s frontline workforce employed by the agency or a contractor (the largest number of frontline workers), to the extent labor organizations represent the frontline workforce. This labor organization may select frontline employee representatives for the Safety Committee from throughout the organization, not just from within their membership.

If an agency has more than one union representing frontline transit workers, or a mix of union and non-union frontline transit workers, the labor organization that represents the greatest number of frontline workers employed by the agency or contractor selects frontline employee representatives to serve on the Safety Committee. This labor organization may select frontline employee representatives for the Safety Committee from throughout the organization, not just from within their membership.

Yes. Transit agencies operating under two ASPs may establish one Safety Committee for each ASP, so long as both Committees are compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) requirements.

It depends. If a Section 5307 recipient or subrecipient is required to have an Agency Safety Plan (ASP) under the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation and serves a large urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more), it must establish its own Safety Committee. If, however, a Section 5307 recipient or sub-recipient is not required to have an ASP under the PTASP regulation or does not serve a large urbanized area, it is not required to establish a Safety Committee.

Safety Management System (SMS)

A Safety Management System (SMS) is a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing safety. It brings management and labor together to better control risk, detect and correct safety problems earlier, share and analyze safety data more effectively, and measure safety performance more precisely.

SMS helps transit agencies apply resources to risk and ensure they have the organizational infrastructure to support decision-making at all levels regarding the assignment of resources.

Some key parts of SMS include:

  • Defined safety roles and responsibilities
  • Strong executive safety leadership
  • Formal safety accountabilities and communication
  • Effective policies and procedures
  • Active employee involvement

Operators of public transportation systems that are subject to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation must develop and implement SMS processes as part of their Agency Safety Plans.

No. Your SMS is the process your agency uses to manage safety risk. Your ASP is a document that defines all the processes you will use to operate your SMS. The ASP addresses the four required elements of your SMS: Safety Management Policy, Safety Risk Management, Safety Assurance, and Safety Promotion.

No. Only operators of public transportation systems that are subject to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation must develop and implement SMS processes.

To reduce the administrative, financial, and regulatory burdens on small public transportation providers, FTA has developed a condensed SMS framework for operators of 100 or fewer vehicles in peak revenue service. Regarding the safety assurance component of SMS, small public transportation providers only need to develop processes for safety performance monitoring and measurement. A process for safety performance monitoring and measurement will enable the agency to monitor its system for compliance with the agency’s procedures for operations and maintenance and identify and address inefficiencies. The process ensures that mitigations are implemented, adhered to, and are effective.

FTA’s National Public Transportation Safety Plan provides an overview of SMS. FTA also offers a series of Safety Management System (SMS) courses for public transportation.

Safety Risk Reduction Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes require Section 5307 recipients serving a large urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more) to establish a risk reduction program for transit operations to improve safety by reducing the number and rates of accidents, injuries, and assaults on transit workers based on data submitted to the National Transit Database (NTD). Transit agencies have flexibility on how to integrate risk reduction programs into their ASPs and how to implement them to best suit their agency’s unique circumstances to meet the statutory requirements. FTA will integrate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes to PTASP requirements into the Triennial and State Management Review processes beginning in 2023.

FTA plans to update the National Public Transportation Safety Plan (National Safety Plan) to provide additional information on how agencies can meet the new requirement for safety performance targets.

However, performance targets for a risk reduction program are not required to be in place until FTA has updated the National Safety Plan to include additional performance measures required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Yes. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law did not remove any of the existing safety performance target requirements in the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation.

No. Each Urbanized Area Formula Grant recipient serving a large urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more) must allocate at least 0.75 percent of its Section 5307 funds for safety-related projects eligible under Section 5307. If a recipient of Section 5307 funds does not meet its safety risk reduction program safety performance targets required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law changes, then it must allocate funds for safety-related projects that are reasonably likely to assist the recipient in meeting the performance targets. 

Each Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) recipient serving a large urbanized area (an urbanized area with a population of 200,000 or more) must allocate at least 0.75 percent of its Section 5307 funds for safety-related projects. The Notice of FTA Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; and FTA Fiscal Year 2022 Apportionments, Allocations, Program Information and Interim Guidance, published in the Federal Register, states in section II.D. Previously Authorized Funding: “For programs that are continued under the IIJA with amendments, the provisions of the IIJA now apply to all unobligated funds from FY 2021 and prior years, as well as to FY 2022 funds.” Agencies must amend existing grants for their FY 2022 applications for Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant funds in the Transit Award Management System (TrAMS) to meet this requirement. For more information or assistance, please contact your FTA Regional Office.

Safety Training

Yes. The ASP must address all applicable requirements and standards as set forth in FTA’s Public Transportation Safety Program. Your agency should include Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program requirements that apply to your agency’s designated personnel. State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOA) may also require rail transit agencies to include this information in their ASPs. Read more about the training requirements.

Yes. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law adds maintenance personnel as personnel that must participate in the agency’s safety training program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also requires maintenance personnel, operations personnel, and personnel directly responsible for safety complete de-escalation training.

Transit agencies may choose how they satisfy this requirement. For example, agencies may decide to use FTA’s training resources, including the Assault Awareness and Prevention for Transit Operators training provided by the National Transit Institute.

Small Public Transportation Provider

No. VOMS does not include vehicles that are not providing public transportation service. FTA defines VOMS as “the number of revenue vehicles an agency operates to meet the annual maximum service requirement.” FTA’s definition of VOMS also excludes “atypical days” or “one-time special events.” See the NTD Reporting Policy Manual for the full definition.

Yes. A small public transportation provider must have a CSO. However, in some instances, especially with small transit agencies, a single individual may serve in both the Accountable Executive role and the CSO role. (Note that for small transit agencies, the CSO may also hold additional duties, such as in operations and maintenance.) For more information, please refer to FTA’s CSO SMS Executive Fact Sheet.

The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation does not require a specific process for small public transportation providers to “opt out” and develop their own ASP. However, it is important for a small public transportation provider and State to communicate with each other about ASP development. FTA encourages small public transportation providers to notify their State in writing of their decision to “opt out” to support record keeping. Additionally, FTA published the Guide to “Opting Out” of an Agency Safety Plan Developed by State Department of Transportation that provides sample notification text.

No. The State is required to develop an ASP for all small public transportation providers in the State. This includes a small public transportation provider that may be a subrecipient of another small public transportation provider.

No. The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation does not require the State to approve the ASP drafted by a small provider. Once you have opted to develop your own ASP and have notified the State of your decision, the development and approval of your plan is your agency’s responsibility.

Yes. FTA has published a Sample Small Public Transportation Provider Agency Safety Plan for States and small public transportation providers to use as an example of an ASP that meets the requirements of the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation.

In addition, FTA has published the Agency Safety Plan (ASP) Directory as part of the PTASP Technical Assistance Center (TAC) Resource Library to support the transit industry in developing, implementing, and updating their ASPs. The ASPs illustrate the various ways agencies throughout the transit industry are implementing the PTASP requirements. Disclaimer: FTA has not assessed whether any of these plans meet applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. This list is provided for technical assistance only. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement or approval by FTA. Some transit agency websites may not be up to date.


State Department of Transportation (DOT)

States must draft and certify ASPs on behalf of small public transportation providers, unless a small provider opts to draft and certify their own ASP and notifies the State that they will do so. A small public transportation provider is an operator who meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is a recipient or sub-recipient of FTA’s Urbanized Area Formula Grant (Section 5307) funds
  • Operates 100 or fewer vehicles in peak revenue service
  • Does not operate rail fixed-guideway public transportation

Regardless of who drafts and certifies an ASP, each transit operator is required to carry out and implement its own ASP, including all Safety Management System (SMS) related activities because each transit agency is in the best position to manage safety risk within their own system.

State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOA) must review and approve the safety plans of each rail transit agency that is subject to their jurisdiction.

In addition to these requirements, each transit operator must provide the State in which it operates and its Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) with its safety performance targets to assist the State and MPO with the capital program planning process.

No. The State Department of Transportation is not responsible for updating the ASP for a small public transportation provider but may choose to provide ongoing support. The small public transportation provider is responsible for updating its ASP to comply with the applicable PTASP requirements. 

State DOTs must still develop ASPs for newly applicable small public transportation providers that do not opt to develop their ASP. These ASPs must address all applicable PTASP requirements in Section 5329(d), including the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requirements.

Yes. The State DOT can use FTA funds (please see the PTASP Applicability Section) from other grant programs to cover the costs of bus transit Agency Safety Plan development, including:

Learn more about transportation planning.

The State Department of Transportation (DOT) can provide a single line item in the Statewide UPWP to “develop Agency Safety Plans required in FTA's PTASP regulation for small urban transit systems, share with MPOs.” 

There is no requirement that use of these funds by the State DOT to develop Agency Safety Plans be included in each individual MPO’s UPWP or the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), as long as it is in the statewide UPWP.

MPOs in small urbanized areas are permitted to include a “simplified statement of work” in the “Statewide Unified Planning Work Program” as a single line item (e.g., a UPWP is not required for MPOs under 200,000). The State DOT then can use MPP funds to cover the PTASP-related safety planning work in the urbanized areas. The use of the Section 5303 funds for this purpose should be documented in the metropolitan planning agreement (e.g., split letter) between the State and MPOs that documents how the State will sub-allocate the Section 5303 funds.

Yes. All States with applicable small public transportation providers must complete the PTASP certification in TrAMS by the compliance deadline. As a State making this certification, you are certifying that you have complied with all applicable PTASP regulation requirements. This means that you have developed an Agency Safety Plan (ASP) that meets all applicable PTASP regulation requirements for any small public transportation provider in your State that has not opted to develop its own ASP and have notified your State. States should not complete the certification until they have met all the applicable PTASP regulation requirements.

State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA)

SSOAs must review and approve the ASP of each rail transit agency for which it has responsibility. Additional information and resources for SSOAs are available in the PTASP Technical Assistance Center resource library.

SSOAs are responsible for reviewing and approving rail transit agency ASPs and ASP updates after the agency Board of Directors’ approval. The new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requirements do not change this responsibility.

An SSOA must review and approve an ASP developed by rail fixed guideway system, as authorized in 49 U.S.C. 5329(e) and its implementing regulations at 49 CFR part 674. For multimodal transit agencies that develop a single ASP for rail and bus modes, the SSOA review and approval only refers to the rail portion of the ASP. Consequently, when reviewing an ASP for an agency that operates both rail and bus modes, the SSOA should limit its review to the rail fixed guideway public transportation system elements unless it otherwise has authority to oversee transit bus safety.

Transit Asset Management (TAM) Plans

Through the implementation of its TAM Plan, required under the Transit Asset Management regulation, a transit agency should consider the results of its condition assessments while performing safety risk management and safety assurance activities. The results of the condition assessments, and subsequent SMS analysis, could inform a transit agency’s TAM Plan elements, specifically investment priorities. The Accountable Executive has the ultimate responsibility for decision-making throughout this process.

Please note, the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation applies to only Section 5307 recipients and sub-recipients, and the TAM regulation applies to all operators of public transit. Learn more about Transit Asset Management.

Yes. FTA’s intention is to match the definition of Tier II provider in the TAM regulation with the definition of “small public transportation provider” in the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation. FTA interprets the definition of “small public transportation provider” to include bus transit systems with one hundred (100) or fewer vehicles in revenue service during peak regular service across all non-rail fixed route modes or in any one non-fixed route mode. FTA is aware that the funding thresholds differ in the TAM regulation’s definition of “Tier II provider” and the definition of “small public transportation provider” in the PTASP regulation. However, the revenue service thresholds are applied the same in both regulations.