FTA Awards Rail Safety Grants to Transit Agencies
As schools gear up to teach students reading, writing, and arithmetic, transit agencies across the country are preparing to educate Americans about another vital subject: rail safety.
In partnership with Operation Lifesaver, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded eight transit agencies almost $194,000 for programs to educate the public about how to be safe on and around the rails.
“The Federal Transit Administration is pleased to partner with Operation Lifesaver because as rail transit expands in communities across the country, it is essential that drivers and pedestrians have the education they need to remain safe near trains, tracks and at rail crossings,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff.
The outreach grants are just one part of FTA's ongoing pursuit of transit safety. FTA is in the early stages of implementing historic new authority to oversee and enforce minimum safety requirements for all federally funded rail transit systems—to help make one of the safest modes of travel even safer.
Rail safety is a concern for people of all ages. According to the most recent data, 432 people died at rail crossings in 2012. With these recent safety outreach grants, FTA and Operation Lifesaver hope to reduce that tragic number.
Grant recipients span the country from TriMet in Portland, OR to SunRail in Central Florida, and projects include development of awareness campaigns such as safety websites, social media ads, and even a Rail Safety Month film festival and a Boy and Girl Scout Merit badge.
Nearly 20 transit agencies applied for these highly competitive grants. Those selected were chosen by a team of safety and education professionals based on various criteria such as key safety message, readiness, and budget.
The funded safety programs will start as early as Fall 2013 and run through 2014.
More information about the individual grants is available here.