Rail Safety Oversight
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published Rail Fixed Guideway Systems: State Safety Oversight (SSO) on Dec. 27, 1995 (codified at 49 CFR Part 659), subsequently referred to as the State Safety Oversight Rule or Part 659. This rule sets forth FTA's requirements to improve rail transit safety and security. ADOT is the designated state safety oversight agency in Arizona.
The designated State Safety Oversight Agency is required to perform several distinct functions as discussed below. The following activities constitute the core of FTA's State Safety Oversight Rule, but are not limited to only these.
Develop a System Safety Program Standard
ADOT is required to develop, implement, update and maintain a Program Standard, which is a written document developed and adopted by the oversight agency that describes the policies, objectives, responsibilities and procedures used to provide safety and security oversight to the Rail Transit Agency within the state of Arizona.
Develop a System Safety Program Plan (SSPP)
The ADOT SSO shall require each Rail Transit Agency to develop a System Safety Program Plan (SSPP) and annually review and submit the SSPP to the ADOT SSO. The ADOT SSO will review, approve and monitor the implementation of a System Safety Program Plan and Security Plan to ensure compliance with the oversight agency's program standard at each rail transit agency.
Take Responsibility for Accident and Unacceptable Hazardous Conditions Notification, Investigation and Reporting
Require each Rail Transit Agency to report the occurrence of accidents and unacceptable hazardous conditions specified by the oversight agency in the System Safety Program Standard, including reporting time, methods of notification and the information to be submitted by the rail transit agency with notification. ADOT SSO will review and approve (or require revisions to) Rail Transit Agency initial report, status and final hazard investigation, as well as review and approve (or require revisions to) Rail Transit Agency Hazard Log.
Require the Rail Transit System to Implement a Corrective Action Plan
Quarterly and annually, the ADOT SSO will review, comment, approve (or require revisions to) Rail Transit Agency quarterly Corrective Action Plan Monitoring Log, and provide technical assistance and advice to the Rail Transit Agency to facilitate the closure of corrective action plans that may arise from the implementation of other program areas, including hazard management, accident/incident investigations, internal safety and security audits, and three-year on-site safety and security reviews.
Conduct a Three-Year On-Site Safety and Security Review
Every three years the ADOT SSO will prepare a schedule, procedures and a checklist to guide the review process; establish criteria to evaluate the rail transit agency's implementation of its SSPP and SSP; and conduct the site review. At the conclusion of the review, the ADOT SSO will prepare and issue a Draft Report and a Final Report containing findings and recommendations resulting from the review, which will analyze the effectiveness of the SSPP and SSP and whether either should be updated. The ADOT SSO will prepare corrective actions required as a result of this review.
Require an Internal Safety and Security Audit Program
Require the Rail Transit System to conduct safety audits according to the Internal Safety Audit Process detailed in the ADOT System Safety Program Standard. Annually, the ADOT SSO will review, comment and approve (or require revisions to) the Rail Transit Agency proposed internal safety/security audit schedule for the current fiscal year. The ADOT SSO will review, comment and approve (or require revisions to) the Rail Transit Agency annual internal safety/security audit reports conducted to date; and review, comment and approve (or require revisions to) the Rail Transit Agency internal safety/security audit materials (e.g., preaudit checklists, post-audit findings and follow-up).
Prepare Annual Submission / Annual Certification
On or before March 15, the ADOT SSO is required to prepare the annual submission to FTA summarizing its oversight activities for the preceding 12 months, including a description of the causal factors of investigated accidents, status of corrective actions, updates and modifications to rail agency program documentation, and the level of effort used by ADOT SSO to carry out its oversight activities. The ADOT SSO will report documenting and tracking findings from three-year safety review activities and whether a three-year safety review has been completed since the last annual report was submitted. The ADOT SSO will report the program standard and supporting procedures that have changed during the preceding year and certify that any changes or modifications to the Rail Transit Agency SSPP or SSP have been reviewed and approved by ADOT. With its annual submission, the ADOT SSO will certify to the FTA that it has complied with the requirements of 49 CFR 659. ADOT SSO will submit this certification electronically to the FTA using a reporting mechanism specified by the FTA. The ADOT SSO will maintain a signed copy of each annual certification submitted to the FTA, subject to audit by the FTA.
METRO Light Rail System Map (2008)
FTA and State Safety Oversight
The Valley Metro light rail opened Dec. 27, 2008. For information, go to Valley Metro Rail.
Sun Link, the Tucson modern streetcar service opened in October 2013. For information, go to Tucson Streetcar.