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Transit Safety


Transit Safety

Transit Safety is a key component of the federal performance-based planning process. FTA published the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) Final Rule on July 19, 2018 (effective date of July 19, 2019) to improve public transportation safety by guiding transit agencies to more effectively and proactively manage safety risks in their systems.

The PTASP Final Rule divides providers into two categories based on size of fleet: Tier I (Large) Provider and Tier II (Small) Provider. In the CRTPO planning area, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is a Large Provider and Iredell County Area Transportation System (ICATS), Mecklenburg Transportation System (MTS), and Union County Transportation (UCT) are Small Providers. The distinctions in requirements for Tier I and Tier II (Large and Small) Providers are detailed in the sections below.

Performance Measures & Targets

The PTASP performance measures in the table below were established as part of the PTASP Final Rule. All operators of public transportation systems that are recipients and sub-recipients of federal financial assistance under the Urban Area Formula Program and all rail transit operator recipients must develop safety performance targets based on the safety performance measures established in FTA’s National Public Transportation Safety Plan (National Safety Plan). Targets must be reviewed and updated annually as part of a safety plan (see the Plans section below).

Transit agencies were required to set initial PTASP targets by July 20, 2020, but the deadline was extended one year to July 20, 2021, due to COVID-19. MPOs had 180 days after providers set and shared their initial targets to establish their own targets, with initial targets established no later than July 20, 2021.

Transit agencies must update and certify their safety plans (including targets) annually. Each transit agency must establish a process and timeline for conducting the annual review and update of the PTASP. Each transit agency in the CRTPO planning area provides its current PTASP targets to the CRTPO in November. The CRTPO Board supports the PTASP targets as provided by the transit agencies the following January.

CRTPO Planning Area Transit Providers PTASP Targets

Mode of Transit ServiceFatalities (Total)Fatalities
(Per 100,000 VRM)
Serious Injuries (Total)Serious Injuries
(Per 100,000  VRM)
Safety Events (Total)Safety Events
(Per 100,000 VRM)
System Reliability
Demand Response00.0010.0540.2414,594
Demand Response00.0030.555151.5428,880
Demand Response00.0020.0720.07100,000
Demand Response00.0081.19405.95134,341
Transit Safety Performance Targets Table

VRM = vehicle revenue miles – the miles transit vehicles are scheduled to or actually travel in revenue service; defined as one vehicle traveling one mile with revenue passengers on board

CATS targets are for CY 23 (Jan 23 – Dec 23).  CATS updates its targets in December each year.
ICATS targets are for FY 23 (Jul 22 – June 23).  ICATS updates its targets in December each year.
MTS targets are for FY 24 (Jul 23 – June 24).  MTS meets in July and finalizes updates to its targets by September each year.
UCT targets are for FY 24 (Jul 23 – Jun 24).  UCT updates its targets in October each year.


All recipients and sub-recipients of FTA grant funds are required to develop and certify that they have a safety plan meeting the requirements of the PTASP rule annually by July. Tier I providers must draft and implement their own safety plans. Tier II providers may have the state draft the safety plan on their behalf or may opt to draft their own safety plan.

Regardless of who drafts and certifies a safety plan, each transit operator is required to carry out and implement its own safety plan.

All Tier II Providers in the CRTPO planning area opted to use the State safety plan template. Transit Safety Plans are available from each transit agency upon request.

Transit Safety plans must be signed by an operator’s Accountable Executive and approved by the Board of Directors (or equivalent authority). State Safety Oversight Agencies must approve the Safety Plans of the rail transit agencies they oversee.

MPOs are not required to develop Safety Plans.


Transit operators (or states on behalf of Tier II public transportation providers) are required to review, update, and self-certify their safety plans annually via FTA’s Certifications and Assurances process (which include safety performance targets). 

CRTPO reported its PTASP targets to NCDOT and the transit agencies in the form of a resolution.

Accountability & Transparency

FTA requires transit agencies to self-certify their safety plans annually. To ensure that a transit agency complies with these requirements, FTA intends to utilize its existing Triennial Reviews and State Management Reviews. MPO compliance will be assessed through the existing MPO certification process. Performance targets are a local decision and are neither approved nor rejected by FTA. FTA does not award or penalize a transit provider, a group plan sponsor, or an MPO for achieving or missing a target.

Additional Resources