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Rail Transit Safety Education Best Practices Report Available

By Operation Lifesaver

Washington, D.C. (October 25, 2018) – The report “Best Practices for Rail Transit Safety Education” is now available from Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), the national nonprofit rail safety education organization. The report was produced to assist transit agencies in developing effective public education campaigns in their communities. OLI works with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and transit agencies across the country to promote safe behavior around light rail, streetcars, commuter rail, and subways. 

“Statistics show that most fatalities on transit property involve members of the general public, not transit riders or employees,” says OLI Interim President Wende Corcoran. “This report confirms the importance of education in equipping the public to stay safe when around transit and light rail systems.”  

The report is based, in part, on a survey of past recipients of OLI’s Rail Transit Safety Education Grants which covered 25 organizations in 16 states and the District of Columbia. It includes a compilation of materials and activities supported by those grants.

The report provides five recommendations for developing an effective public education campaign:

  1. Match the approach to the target audience;
  2. Balance goals with resources;
  3. Make the campaign engaging for the audience;
  4. Work with partners to expand your reach; and
  5. Spread funding over several educational projects.

The report also reviewed the pros and cons associated with different types of public outreach including radio and TV ads, videos, social media, vehicle/station/platform ads, billboards, community events, and classroom materials. 

Corcoran noted that Operation Lifesaver, Inc. is preparing to open another round of competitive Rail Transit Safety Education Grants and the best practices report could help future grantees – as well as all transit agencies – develop effective safety campaigns.

“Operation Lifesaver, Inc.’s Rail Transit Safety Education Best Practices report was made possible through the support of the Federal Transit Administration,” Corcoran noted. “Operation Lifesaver appreciates our ongoing partnership with the FTA, as well as with transit agencies throughout the U.S. who are committed to improving safety for their passengers, employees, and the general public.”

About Operation Lifesaver - Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. A national network of trained volunteers gives free presentations on rail safety and a public awareness campaign, “See Tracks? Think Train!” provides the public with tips and statistics to encourage safe behavior near the tracks. OLI leads an international observance of Rail Safety Week each September. Learn more about Rail Safety Week; follow OLI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

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