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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Transit Safety Risk Assessment Methodologies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26449.
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Transit Safety Risk Assessment Methodologies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26449.
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1   The adoption of a safety management system (SMS) approach as required by FTA under 49 CFR 673 means that states and operators of public transportation systems receiving federal financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 are required to develop a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP). Although the PTASP does not have to be approved by FTA, agencies need to be able to point to the plan to document their programs, processes, and policies for safety risk identification, assessment, and mitigation. Another requirement mandated by FRA in 49 CFR 270 states that agencies operating passenger rail service must develop a Rail System Safety Program Plan (Rail SSPP) to be implemented within three years of FRA approval. The deadline for the Rail SSPP was March 2021. Details about safety risk identification, assessment, and mitigation as well as change management, configuration management, documentation, communication, and certification must be included in these plans. Each of these federally mandated programs was to be developed by the agencies based on the SMS foundational approach. The SMS approach is collaborative, comprehensive, top-down, and data driven (Pike, 2018). The approach is about proactively managing risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk mitigations. At its core, SMS is about bringing management and employees together to control safety risk better—detecting and correcting safety concerns earlier, sharing and analyzing safety data more effectively, and measuring safety performance more carefully. The safety risk assessment (SRA) is one part of risk management. Both FTA and FRA require agencies to assess safety risk and mention a methodology called the Military Standard 882 (MIL-STD-882) in example documents produced to guide agencies in the development of safety plans (PTASP and Rail SSPP). As a result, this methodology is typically used by agencies in the United States. While the industry has relied on the MIL- STD-882 frequency versus severity risk matrix approach, there are other methodologies that warrant consideration. The objective of this TCRP Synthesis Project (J-07/SA-51) was to identify the SRA methodologies and/or approaches that U.S. transit (bus and/or rail) systems are using and to explore the practices, benefits, and challenges of these method- ologies. To accomplish this objective, the project included the following key efforts: 1. Literature review to document typical SRA methodologies within and outside of transit and transportation. 2. Survey of U.S. and international transit agencies operating rail and/or bus systems. 3. Case examples to better understand practices, benefits, challenges, and costs of SRA methodologies. The goal of this project was to help the transit industry better understand current and new innovative state-of-the-practice SRA methodologies. More than 40 agencies participated in the survey where respondents were asked to provide information about the methodology S U M M A R Y Transit Safety Risk Assessment Methodologies

2 Transit Safety Risk Assessment Methodologies (or methodologies) their agency uses. The survey results indicated that most transit agencies use the MIL-STD-882 or a modified version of MIL-STD-882. Few participants said that they use other safety risk methodologies. The project team prioritized these few transit agencies when selecting the case examples. The case examples involved five agencies, includ- ing one bus-only agency and one international transit agency. The five agencies are • Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT). • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS). • New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA). • Golden Empire Transit (GET) Bus in Bakersfield, California (bus-only agency). • Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) in Alberta, Canada (international agency). Although the case example agencies are mostly in California, the lessons learned from the interviews with safety personnel provide useful information for the transit industry across the United States related to SRA methodologies and approaches. Through this project, agencies are able to understand how they could apply different methodologies in their safety planning efforts.

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Risk management is the central element of the safety management system (SMS). Identifying, assessing, analyzing, mitigating, communicating, and documenting are all steps in an effective risk management program.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Synthesis 157: Transit Safety Risk Assessment Methodologies is designed to help the transit industry better understand current and new innovative state-of-the-practice methodologies in safety risk assessment (SRA), which is an important part of the system.

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