Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act)

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) was signed into law by President Obama on December 4, 2015.  The Act authorizes transit programs for five years through September 30, 2020.  In the area of public transportation safety, the FAST Act builds upon the FTA regulatory framework established in MAP-21 and expands their mission to include:

  • Establishing Minimum Safety Standards as part of the National Safety Plan
  • Issuing nationwide transit safety directives
  • Issuing restrictions or prohibitions on the operations being performed at transit agencies deemed unsafe.

The FAST Act further requires FTA to conduct a review of safety standards and protocols used in public transportation systems and examine the efficacy of those standards and protocols.  Included within these standards are those related to emergency management, preparedness, emergency evacuation and drills; maintenance, testing, and inspection programs for rail system tunnels, stations, vehicle ventilation systems, signals and train controls, and other infrastructure; rail and bus design and workstations to reduce blind spots and protect rail and bus operators from the risk of assault; rail and bus scheduling to allow adequate time and access for operators to use the restroom; fatigue management; and crash avoidance and worthiness.  It includes an evaluation process with stakeholder input to determine the need to establish additional Federal minimum public transportation safety standards.

Resources

Secretary Foxx Letter

5329 Safety Program Fact Sheet

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