The US Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has passed the country's first transit-specific safety bill, which will now go to the Senate floor.
The Public Transportation Safety Act of 2010 is expected to end the ban against the federal transit administration (FTA) directly overseeing safety programmes.
The legislation, if passed, is intended to empower the department of transportation to establish federal safety standards for rail transit systems.
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also announced the formation of the transit rail advisory committee for safety (TRACS) in June this year.
The recommendations of the TRACS is expected to aid the FTA in developing new policies and practices, if given the authority to promulgate new transit safety requirements.