The National Academies

TCRP J-05 [Active]

Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Staff Responsibility: Gwen Chisholm-Smith
Research Agency: Transportation Research Board
Effective Date: 3/1/1993
Comments: Continuing

The TCRP Legal Research Digest series reports on legal issues associated with transit and intermodal law. Each document is intended to provide transit attorneys with authoritative, well-researched, specific information that is limited in scope. The studies focus on legal issues and problems having national significance to the public transportation industry. The Legal Research Digest provides transit-related legal research on a wide variety of legal topics including:


·         Environmental standards and requirements;

·         Construction and procurement contract procedures and administration;

·         Civil rights and labor standards;

      ·     Tort liability, risk management, and system safety.


 In other areas of the law, transit programs may involve legal problems and issues that are not shared with other modes; as, for example, compliance with transit-equipment and operations guidelines, FTA financing initiatives, private sector programs, and labor or environmental standards relating to transit operations. Emphasis would be on research of current importance and applicability to transit and intermodal operations and programs.


Active Topic Projects


Completed Topic Projects


·         Topic 1-01, Transit Labor Protection--A Guide to Section 13(c) Federal Transit Act:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 4.

·         Topic 1-02, Purchase of Service Agreements for Public Transportation Agencies (Transit):

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 8.

·         Topic 1-03, Legal Issues Associated with Intermodalism:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 5

·         Topic 1-04, State Limitations on Tort Liability for Public Transit Operations:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 3

·         Topic 1-05, Procurement and Funding Procedures Which Impact the Procurement of Expensive Long Lead Items:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 6

·         Topic 1-06, Strategies to Facilitate Acquisition and Use of Right of Way:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 1.

·         Topic 1-07, Risk Management for Rideshare Carpool Matching Programs:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 2

·         Topic 2-01, Restrictions of Speech and Related Activity at Transit and Terminal Facilities:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 10

·         Topic 2-02, Reconciling ADA with Tort Liability Law:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 11

·         Topic 2-03, Legal Issues Related to Transit's Role in Natural Disasters:


·         Topic 3-01, Innovative Financing Techniques for Transit Providers:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 13.

·         Topic 3-02, The Impact of Civil Rights Litigation on Transit Decision Making:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 7.

·         Topic 3-03, Zoning and Real Property Implications of Transit-Oriented Development:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 12

·         Topic 3-04, Impact of FTA and FRA Drug and Alcohol Regulations:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 16

·         Topic 3-05, Strategies to Minimize Liability Under Federal and State Environmental Laws:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 9

·         Topic 3-06, Legal Issues in Commuter Rail Operator Contracts:


·         Topic 4-01, The Impact of the Federal Wage, Hour and Family Medical Leave Act on the Transit Industry:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 15

·         Topic 4-02, Privacy Issues in Public Transportation:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 14

·         Topic 5-01, Federal and State Licensing and Other Safety Requirements for Commercial Motor Vehicles, Operators and Equipment:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest No. 18

·         Topic 5-02, Survey of Joint Development Projects:


·         Topic 5-03, A Comprehensive Overview of the Transit Buy-America Provisions:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 17

·         Topic 5-04, A Compilation of Transit Law:

o   Selected Studies in Transit Law Vol. 5: Transit Law.

·         Topic 6-01, Integrated Transit Operation and Maintenance, and the Use of Private Contractors:


·         Topic 6-02, A Guide to ADA for the Transit Lawyer:

o   Legal Research Digest 19.

·         Topic 6-03, Compilation of Labor (13c) Decisions:

o   Volume 6 in the Selected Studies in Transit Law Series.

·         Topic 7-01, Transit Passengers and Civil Rights:

o   Legal Research Digest 20.

·         Topic 7-02, State and Transit Authority Immunity from Law Suits:


·         Topic 7-03, Compilation of FTA's Charter Bus Service Decisions:

o   Volume 7, Selected Studies in Transportation Law

·         Topic 8-01, Trademarking and Licensing for Transit Providers:

o   Legal Research Digest 21

·         Topic 8-02, Innovative Financing Techniques for Transit Providers:


·         Topic 8-03, Legislative History of Transportation [Transit]:

o   TCRP Web-Only Doc 33

·         Topic 8-04, FTA Interpretations The Americans with Disabilities Act:

o   Legal Research Digest 23.

·         Topic 9-01, Privacy Issues with the Use of Smart Cards:

o   Legal Research Digest 25

·         Topic 9-02, The Use of Fees or Alternatives to Fund Transit:

o   Legal Research Digest 28 

·         Topic 9-03, Applications of Physical Abilities Testing to Current Workforce of Transit Employees:

o   Legal Research Digest 34 

·         Topic 9-04, Civil Rights Implications of the Allocation of Funds between Bus and Rail:

o   Legal Research Digest No. 27

·         Topic 9-05, Transit Bus Stops, Ownership, Liability, and Costs:

o   Legal Research Digest 24.


·         Topic 9-06, Resources for Legal Issues Associated with Bus Maintenance:

o   Legal Research Digest 26 


·         Topic 10-01, Sidewalks and Subways-Legal Distinctions between City Streets and Mass Transit Facilities as Public Forums:

o   Legal Research Digest 29.

·         Topic 10-02, Avoiding Public Outrage and Legal Challenges from Transit Advertising:

o   Legal Research Digest 33


·         Topic 10-03, Competitive Bid Requirements Intersection with the need for Confidentiality of Specifications for Security Purposes:



·         Topic 10-4, Procurement:

o   Legal Research Digest 39 

·         Topic 11-01, Legal Handbook for the New Starts Process:

o   Legal Research Digest 30

·         Topic 11-02, Transit Oriented Development and Joint Development Case Studies and Legal Issues:

o   Published as Legal Research Digest 36 and CD-96


·         Topic 11-03, Transit Agencies Compliance with Title VI, Limited English Proficiency Requirements:

o   Research Results Digest 97


·         Topic 12-01, Guide to Buy America – Update:

o   Legal Research Digest 31


·         Topic 12-02, Reduction in Transit Services: Civil Rights, ADA, 13(c), Regulatory and Environmental Justice Implications:

o   Legal Research Digest 35


·         Topic 12-03, Legal Aspects Relevant to Outsourcing Transit Functions Not Traditionally Outsourced:

o   Legal Research Digest 38 .

·         Topic 12-4, Legal Arrangements for Use and Control of Real Time Data

o   Legal Research Digest 37. 


·         Topic 13-01, Strategies to Facilitate Acquisition of New and Use of Existing Railroad Right of Way by Transit and Other Intercity Providers (Update):


·         Topic 13-02, Legal Issues Involving Surety for Public Transportation Projects:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 40.


·         Topic 13-03, Transit Labor 13(c) Employee Protection Digest:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 41


·         Topic 14-01, Phase 1 – Update SSTL, Volume 5, Transit Law:

o   Selected Studies in Transportation Law Volume 5:  Transit Law 2014 Supplement  

·         Topic 14-02, Transit Agencies Intergovernmental Agreements: Common Issues and Solutions

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 42 and CD 122.

·         Topic 14-03, Contractual Means of Achieving Highway Level Performance in Transit Contracts:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 43 and CD 134.

·         Topic 15-01, Legal Issues with Obtaining Insurance on Large Transit Capital Projects:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 47.


·         Topic 15-02, Legal Issues in Emergency Planning and Operations:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 44.

·         Topic 15-03,Transit Agency Public Private Partnerships: Legal Issues:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 45.


·         Topic 15-04, How HIPPA and Other Privacy Laws Affect Public Transportation Operations:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 46.


·         Topic 16-01, Updated Guide to Buy America Requirements:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 49


·         Topic 16-02, Legal Issues Concerning Transit Agency Use of Electronic Customer Data, Estimated Compensation:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 48


·         Topic 16-03, Public Transit Emergency Preparedness against Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases: Legal Issues:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 50


·         Topic 16-04, Technology Contracting for Transit Projects:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 51


·         Topic 17-02, Legal Implications of Video Surveillance on Transit Systems:

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 52


·         Topic 17-03, Legal Considerations in Relationships Between Transit Agencies and Ride-Sourcing Service Providers

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 53

·         Topic 17-01, Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Transit Agency Liability

o   TCRP Legal Research Digest 54



J-05/Topic 18-02 Codes of Conduct on Transit Vehicles and Property: Legal Issues

Status: Research in Progress.

J-05/Topic 19-01 Legal Issues Regarding Multijurisdictional Transit Agencies

J-05/Topic 19-02 Legal Issues and Emerging Technologies

This TCRP Legal Research Digest provides transportation attorneys with guidance and resources to assist with these legal changes resulting from the implementation of technology, including regulatory challenges, risk management, cybersecurity, privacy, handling confidential and proprietary information, intellectual property rights, civil rights and environmental justice compliance, labor and employment law, and procurement issues.. The final report can be found here as TCRP LRD 59.

J-05/Topic 19-03 Navigating the Complexities of Sensitive Security Information (SSI) and Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII)
Status: Research in Progress.

J-05/Topic 19-04 Transit Sponsor and Contractor Delay Damages and Remedies Due to Third Parties - Transit Facility Improvements-Common Legal Issues and Solutions
Status: Pending.

J-05/Topic 19-05 Legal Issues Surrounding Disasters and Evacuations
Status: In Development.

J-05/Topic 20-01 Legal Issues in Transit Mega Projects--Case Studies

The final report can be found here as TCRP Legal Research Digest 60.

J-05/Topic 20-02 Liability Insurance Issues for Transit Lawyers: A Primer
Status: Pending.

J-05/Topic 20-03 Policing and Public Transportation

J-05/Topic 21-01 Update of Legal Research Digests Regarding Civil Rights, Privacy, and Other Related Digests

J-05/Topic 21-02 Legal Issues in Transit Agencies Providing/Subsidizing Innovative Micromobility Projects

J-05/Topic 21-03 Update of Selected Studies in Transportation Law, Volume 5, 2014 Supplement (Transit Law)

J-05/Topic 22-01 Bus Stop Design and Location: Legal Impact on Tort and Civil Rights Lawsuits

J-05/Topic 22-02 Status of State and Local Suspension and Debarment Programs and Barriers to Creation and Implementation for State and Local Programs

J-05/Topic 22-03 Legal Aspects of Transit to Airports

J-05/Topic 22-04 Update of Buy America

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