FTA Takes Nationwide Step to Address Assaults on Transit Workers


FTA has published a proposed General Directive in the Federal Register on required actions regarding assaults on public transit workers and is encouraging transit agencies, members of the public, and other interested parties to submit comments by Feb. 20.

“Everyone deserves a safe workplace, including and especially the frontline transit workers who keep our nation moving” said Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “Assaults on transit workers are unacceptable, and I look forward to working with leaders across the transit industry on ways to further enhance the safety of these essential workers.” 

From 2008 to 2021, the National Transit Database documented an average of 241 reportable assault events on transit workers. These include 192 assaults per year occurring in or on transit vehicles, 44 per year in transit facilities, and five per year in other non-public locations such as maintenance shops and yards.

“Each day, transit workers nationwide are responsible for moving millions of Americans to their jobs, schools, and other daily activities, and we must ensure that their safety remains a top priority,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “This proposed General Directive is part of FTA’s ongoing comprehensive efforts to improve transit worker safety.”

The directive proposes that transit agencies subject to the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) regulation be required to conduct a safety risk assessment related to assaults on transit workers using the Safety Management System (SMS) processes outlined in their Agency Safety Plan. The directive also requires each transit agency to identify safety risk mitigations or strategies necessary to improve worker safety based on its safety risk assessment. For agencies serving a large, urbanized area, a safety committee made up of equal parts management and transit labor representatives is responsible for identifying and recommending these safety risk mitigations.

For technical assistance resources to support safety risk assessment for assaults on transit workers, visit Using SMS to Protect Transit Workers from Assaults.