The U.S. Federal Transit Administration awarded California and Oklahoma the federal certification of their rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs in advance of an important safety deadline.
According to the Federal law, the states must receive FTA certification by April 15, 2019 or new federal transit funds cannot be awarded and the deadline cannot be waived or extended.
“FTA is pleased that California and Oklahoma have developed safety oversight programs that meet federal certification requirements and will strengthen rail transit safety. With certification, transit agencies in California and Oklahoma can continue to receive federal funding,” said FTA Acting Administrator Jane Williams.
The California Public Utilities Commission is responsible for providing safety oversight of the seven rail transit agencies which include railway and automated guideway systems for San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the LRT and tramway systems for San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the Sacramento Regional Transit District light rail system, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail system, San Diego Metropolitan Transportation System light rail system, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority light rail and heavy rail systems; and North County Transit District light rail system.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Oklahoma City tram system.
By April 15, 2019, 30 states must obtain certification of 31 SSO Programs. With this announcement, 27 states have now achieved SSO Program certification.
If a state fails to meet the deadline, FTA is prohibited by law from awarding any new federal transit funds to transit agencies within the state until certification is achieved.