DOT authorizes rail transit safety advisory committee

Citing an increase in passenger rail accidents over the past five years, the U.S. Department of Transportation will form a rail advisory group to analyze safety issues and develop recommendations for national transit safety standards.

The group, which will be called TRACS (Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety), will be composed of approximately 25 voting members. They’re expected to meet at least twice a year to formulate recommendations.

Under the DOT’s charter, which becomes effective Dec. 8, TRACS will perform the following duties:

- Undertake such information-gathering activities as necessary to define issues for consideration by the committee, develop positions on those issues and present the committee’s position to the FTA administrator.

- Constitute, if necessary, an executive committee and such subcommittees or work groups as the committee finds necessary to discharge its responsibilities.

- Evaluate economic, technological and institutional developments relating to transit safety and submit to the FTA administrator recommendations on promising new ideas and approaches for federal policies and programs.

An FTA staff member will serve as the group’s executive director. Voting members will be selected to provide a range of perspectives of rail transit safety. They’ll serve two-year terms. An unlimited number of non-voting members may be selected to serve on the committee or subcommittees.

The charter may be downloaded in PDF format at

For more information, contact Mike Flanigon, director of the FTA’s Office of Safety and Security, at 202-366-0235 or [email protected]

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