The US states of Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania have received Federal Transit Administration (FTA) certification of their rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs.

Under federal law, all US states with rail transit systems need to obtain FTA certification of their SSO Programs by 15 April 2019 to continue receiving federal transit funds.

With the latest additions, 11 out of the 30 states have now procured SSO Program certification.

“With this certification, these three states’ transit agencies can continue to receive federal funding.”

If a state fails to obtain the certification within the deadline, the FTA will stop providing new transit funds to the agencies until the certification is acquired.

FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said: “FTA is pleased that Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania have developed safety oversight programs that meet federal certification requirements and will strengthen rail transit safety in their states.

“With this certification, these three states’ transit agencies can continue to receive federal funding.”

The Arizona Department of Transportation will provide safety oversight of the Valley Metro light rail system and the City of Tucson streetcar, while the Georgia Department of Transportation is responsible for the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority heavy rail system and the City of Atlanta streetcar.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will provide safety oversight of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority heavy rail, light rail, and trolley lines; the Cambria County Transit Authority incline; and the Port Authority of Allegheny County light rail system.

An SSO Program must fulfil multiple federal statutory requirements to receive FTA certification.

The requirements include forming an independent SSO agency with adequate financial and human resources.

In addition to being financially and legally independent from the state transit agency, the SSO agency will have investigative authority and have the capacity to adopt and execute federal and state safety laws.