Rail Fixed Guideway System Safety and Security Oversight Program
Rail Fixed Guideway System Safety and Security Oversight Program Federal legislation requires each State to have and implement a State safety and security oversight program for its public transit rail passenger services. ODOT currently has one transit rail passenger system to oversee, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) required the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to create a state-managed oversight program to improve rail transit safety and security (49 U.S.C. § 5330). Subsequently, on December 27, 1995, the FTA published the Rail Fixed Guideway Systems; State Safety Oversight; Final Rule (codified at 49 CFR Part 659), now referred to as Part 659 or the State Safety Oversight Rule. Part 659 applies to all states that have within their boundaries a RFGS not regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and requires that the State designate an agency to oversee safety and prepare standards that must be met by transit agencies operating RFGS. The Ohio Revised Code Section 5501.55 designates the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) as the responsible agency for implementing and administering 49 U.S.C. 5330, hereby referred to as the State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA). The State Safety Oversight (SSO) Program is administered through ODOT.
On April 29, 2005, the FTA published its revised Rail Fixed Guideway Systems; State Safety Oversight; Final Rule. The revised Final Rule delineates the responsibilities of the State, the oversight agency, the RFGS and the FTA. Part 659 establishes authority for this SSO Program and the standards, procedures, and technical direction described herein. The SSO Program documents RFGS and ODOT activities to implement Part 659, ensures on-going communication between ODOT and each affected RFGS regarding safety and security information, and implements policies for ODOT communication with the FTA, including initial, annual, and periodic submissions. ODOT responds to the requirements in 49 CFR, Part 659 to promote safety and security and avoid financial penalties that the FTA might otherwise impose on federal funding for the RFGS.