The Federal Transit Administration enforces a comprehensive framework to oversee the safety of public transportation throughout the United States. MAP-21, under 49 U.S.C. Section 5329(e), requires that each state with rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (FGTS) that receive certain Federal funding, and are not regulated by the FRA, implement an SSO program that:
- Assumes responsibility for overseeing rail fixed guideway public transportation safety;
- Adopts and enforces Federal and relevant state laws on rail fixed guideway transportation safety;
- Establishes a state safety oversight agency (SSOA);
- Determines in consultation with the FTA an appropriate staffing level for the SSOA that is commensurate with the number, size, and complexity of the rail fixed guideway public transportation in the state;
- Requires that employees and other designated personnel of the SSOA who are responsible for rail fixed guideway public transportation state safety oversight are qualified to perform such functions through appropriate training, including successful completion of the public transportation safety certification training program; and
- Prohibits any public transportation agency from providing funds to the SSOA.
Each eligible state, including the State of Florida, must establish an SSOA that:
- Each eligible state, including the State of Florida, must establish an SSOA that:
- Is financially and legally independent from any public transportation entity that the SSOA oversees;
- Does not directly provide public transportation services in an area with a rail fixed guideway public transportation system subject to the requirements of this section;
- Does not employ any individual who is also responsible for the administration of rail fixed guideway public transportation programs subject to the requirements of this section;
- Has the authority to review, approve, oversee, and enforce the implementation by the rail fixed guideway public transportation agency of the public transportation agency safety plan required under subsection (d);
- Has investigative and enforcement authority with respect to the safety of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems of the eligible State;
- Audits, at least once triennially, the compliance of the rail fixed guideway public transportation systems in the eligible State subject to this subsection with the public transportation agency safety plan required under subsection (d); and
- Provides, at least once annually, a status report on the safety of the rail fixed guideway public transportation systems the SSOA oversees to the FTA; the Governor of the State; and the board of directors of the transit agencies or equivalent.
Additionally, pursuant to Section 341.061(1), Florida Statutes (F.S.), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) must adopt by rule minimum safety standards for governmentally owned FGTSs and privately owned or operated FGTSs operating in the state which are financed wholly or partly by state funds. FDOT adopted Rule 14-15017, Florida Administrative Code, which adopts by reference The Safety and Security Oversight Program Standards Manual for Fixed Guideway Transportation Systems, May 2018 edition. FDOT is the state oversight agency with the responsibility for the implementation and the enforcement of the statutory provisions statewide.
Florida Rail Agencies
Florida FGTSs that are subject to Section 341.061(1), Florida Statutes (F.S.) and the SSO Manual (Rule 14-15.017, F.A.C) include:
South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) Tri-Rail commuter rail system: Tri-Rail operates on 72 miles of track through three counties: Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade. Tri-Rail serves 18 stations.
Central Florida SunRail commuter rail system: SunRail currently operates on 32 miles of track and serves 12 station in Orange, Seminole, and Volusia Counties. It is anticipated that Phase 2 will begin service in the next few years and add five new stations in Orange, Osceola, and Volusia Counties.
Greater Orlando Aviation Authority automated guideway at Orlando International Airport: The automated people movers here connect the main terminal building with the four airside terminals. Two additional automated people movers are planned to connect the main terminal with a new intermodal center.
Hillsborough County Aviation Authority automated guideway at Tampa International Airport: The automated people mover here connects the central landside terminal to the four airside concourses. An additional automated guideway connects the long-term parking garage to the short-term parking garage.
Miami-Dade Aviation MIA Mover and Skytrain at Miami International Airport: The MIA Mover is a 1.25 mile long automated people mover system that connects Miami International Airport with the 3.4 million square foot Miami Rental Car Center. The Skytrain is a people mover that serves four stations along Concourse D, the North Terminal.
FGTSs subject to Part 674, Section 341.061(1), F.S., and the SSO Manual (Rule 14-15.017, F.A.C) include:
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit TECO Streetcar in Tampa: The TECO Streetcar line consists of a 2.7 mile single-track route with eleven stations throughout Ybor City, Channelside, and downtown Tampa.
Jacksonville Transportation Authority Automated Skyway Express: The Jacksonville Skyway operates on 2.5 miles of elevated track through downtown Jacksonville. It currently serves eight stations through two routes: the Northbank and Southbank lines.
Miami-Dade Transit Metromover and Metrorail: Miami-Dade Transit operates two separate FGTS modes the Metromover and the Metrorail. The Metromover operates on 4.4 miles of track through Omni, downtown, and Brickell. Metrorail operates on 25 miles of dual track from Miami International Airport through Kendall, South Miami, Coral Gables, downtown Miami, the Civic Center/ Jackson Memorial Hospital area, Brownsville, Liberty City, Hialeah and Medley. Metromover currently serves 21 stations and Metrorail serves 23 stations.
For the FGTSs that are subject to Part 674, Section 341.061(1), F.S. and the SSO Manual, the FDOT Office of Freight, Logistics and Passenger Operations, Public Transit Office, provides safety and security oversight that includes monthly teleconferences and/or onsite meetings with each system, internal safety review assessments, triennial audits, technical assistance, corrective action plan reviews, reviews of updates to Security Program Plans and System Safety Program Plans, and reviews of hazard tracking logs and reportable events notifications, and associated follow-ups.
The State Safety Oversight Team at FDOT carefully monitors proposed and new Federal rules and provisions related to public transit safety. The FTA provides links to its Federal Register Notices.
Annual Safety Status Reports
February 21, 2017 FDOT SSO Program Update Webinar
FDOT contracts with Transportation Resource Associates, Inc. (TRA). TRA provides safety and security oversight services for Florida’s FGTSs subject to Part 659, Section 341.061(1), F.S., and the SSO Manual. For more information, please contact:
- Ashley Porter, Transit Safety Programs Manager, (850) 414-4070
- Christopher Wallgren, Vice President, Project Principal, TRA Project Lead, (212) 300-4287
- Anthony Ferraro, Project Manager, (813) 513-4335