The National Academies

TCRP A-34 [Final]

Improving Safety-Related Rule Compliance in the Public Transportation Industry

  Project Data
Funds: $349,745
Research Agency: Foster-Miller
Principal Investigator: Judy Gertler
Effective Date: 9/30/2009
Completion Date: 9/1/2011

The critical importance of safety to the public transportation industry makes compliance with safety-related rules a key concern for public transportation systems and administrators.  Despite the industry's solid safety record, one major accident stemming from rule non-compliance can call into question the safety of the entire industry. Adding to their traditional practices, many transit systems have established methods for enhancing rule compliance.  These approaches have included employee training, re-training, certification requirements, positive reinforcement practices, and other techniques.  APTA has recently adopted a voluntary standard for rule compliance https://aptastandards.com/portals/0/volume4/apta_op_011_04.pdf.  Now that these steps have been taken, what more can be done?  Do other industries -- such as the aviation, railroad, and other low-probability/high-consequence industries -- offer effective approaches that can be fruitfully applied to improve safety-related rule compliance in the public transportation industry? Research is needed in this area that involves a wide variety of organizations and institutions, including, but not limited to, public transportation systems, public and private companies, regulatory bodies, industry trade groups, and labor organizations.  This breadth of perspectives is critical since the various industries are as different as they are similar.  The key to successful research in this area will be the usefulness of the final product to a wide audience.

The objective of this research is to develop a resource for improving safety-related rule compliance in the public transportation industry.  The resource should include a variety of methods and practices so that it can be used by the broad spectrum of public transportation systems, including systems of different sizes and those that operate one or more different modes.

Status:  The project is complete and was published in fall 2011 as TCRP Report149: Improving Safety-Related Rules Compliance in the Public Transportation Industry.

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