The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has announced a funding of $7.3m to improve rail transit safety in the country.

The department’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award the funding to rail projects that demonstrate and evaluate new technologies, as well as safer designs and practices.

This will fall under the Safety Research and Demonstration (SRD) Program Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

Set to mitigate trespassing hazards on rail transit systems, these projects will also enhance the operational safety of shared corridor fixed guideway systems that include highway-rail grade crossing safety.

The NOFO will also back new projects that demonstrate new technologies to improve rail transit safety.

FTA acting administrator Jane Williams said: “We are committed to working with the transit industry to improve the safety of our nation’s public transportation systems.

“We look forward to supporting innovative new designs and projects that will better protect transit employees and passengers alike, as well as improve the overall safety and reliability of the service.”

Under the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 USC § 5312), the FTA funds research, development, demonstration and deployment projects for improving public transportation.

The US DoT also announced $2m in funding for projects to redesign transit bus operator compartments to improve safety for bus operators and passengers.

In December, the US DoT announced a $790m grant for Sound Transit’s Federal way light rail extension alongside a $629m low-interest loan to begin construction work on the project this year.