[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 228 (Monday, November 30, 2009)]
[Pages 62630-62631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28532]



Federal Transit Administration

Establishment of the Federal Transit Administration Advisory 
Committee for Transit Safety

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent to establish a Federal Advisory Committee.


SUMMARY: On November 23, 2009, the Secretary of Transportation 
authorized the establishment of a Federal Advisory Committee to address 
transit safety issues. The Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety 
(TRACS) will consist of up to 25 voting members and will provide 
recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation through the Federal 
Transit Administrator regarding transit safety and other issues.

DATES: This charter is effective on December 8, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Flanigon, Director, Office of 
Safety and Security, Federal Transit Administration, 202-366-0235 or 
[email protected].


I. Background

    Nationwide, rail transit is considered one of the safest modes of 
transportation with more than 7 million people boarding rail transit 
vehicles in the United States each day. Transit agencies have fewer 
fatalities and injuries than does any other mode of transportation. 
Over the last five years, however, the industry's safety record, while 
still low, has deteriorated. Rates per million passenger miles between 
2003 and 2008 on rail transit systems, not regulated by Federal 
Railroad Administration are as follows:

    Derailment rates are up from 0.23 to 0.38. Collision rates are 
up from 0.2 to 0.8 .
    Passenger Fatality rates are up from 0.43 to 0.60 (all causes 
except suicide).
    Passenger fatality rates from train collisions have held steady 
at 1 per year (9 in 2009).
    Employee right of way fatalities are steady at 3 per year 
(double the average number during the previous 15 years).

    Major accidents in Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and 
Boston have captured the attention of the public and raised widespread 
concern regarding the industry's commitment to the safety of its 
passengers and employees. For example, the 2006 derailment of a CTA 
Blue Line train in Chicago involved aging infrastructure that did not 
meet agency safety standards and yet remained in service.
    In response to this series of accidents, the Secretary of 
Transportation established the Rail Transit Safety Work Group, an 
internal Departmental work group with representatives from several 
administrations, to evaluate the Federal role in transit safety. After 
deliberating, the work group recommended that the Secretary establish 
an advisory committee for transit safety. The Secretary accepted the 
recommendation and authorized the establishment of an advisory 
committee for the purpose of analyzing transit safety issues and 
developing recommendations for minimum, national transit safety 
    The establishment of an advisory committee for transit safety 
serves the public interest by providing a forum for the development, 
consideration, and communication of information from knowledgeable and 
independent perspectives. The level of expertise and balanced 
viewpoints of this committee will enable early identification of 
potential problem areas and accelerate corrective actions, thereby 
creating greater safety and public confidence in the Nation's public 
transportation systems.
    In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2 (FACA), the Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA) is publishing this notice to announce the 
Secretary's intent to establish an advisory committee. The Transit Rail 
Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) will have the objective to 
provide advice and recommendations to the Administrator of FTA 
regarding transit safety issues.
    No determination of fact or policy will be made by the TRACS. The 
TRACS will meet as necessary to carry out its duties, but is expected 
to meet at least twice a year. Meetings of subcommittees or work groups 
may occur more frequently. The FTA Administrator on behalf of the 
Secretary of Transportation will name an Executive Director for the 
committee who will also serve as the Designated Federal Official 
responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of FACA. 
Members of the public may review the draft charter for TRACS at FTA's 
Web site located at http://fta.dot.gov.

[[Page 62631]]

    Issued this 24th day of November, 2009, in Washington, DC.
Peter M. Rogoff,
[FR Doc. E9-28532 Filed 11-24-09; 4:15 pm]