Passenger Rail Safety
In America's cities and beyond, nothing connects us to work, play and each other like public transit, today's safest, most reliable way to travel.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates that 34 million times each weekday, people use public transportation. Operation Lifesaver's outreach programs offer free rail safety education for transit and commuter rail riders, drivers, pedestrians and communities.
Operation Lifesaver's partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), initiated in 2002, makes possible effective educational outreach programs for transit systems. In 2019, Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) awarded $175,000 in FTA grant funds to 10 rail transit agencies in eight states to increase rail transit safety public awareness and implement safety education projects and campaigns.
The selected grantees of the funding and their safety public awareness and education campaigns are:
• Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), Charlotte, N.C. CATS will launch a two-part campaign focusing on deterring social media influencers, community members and photographers from using the LYNX Blue Line as a photo backdrop, while encouraging community members to be more mindful when driving or walking across a rail grade crossing. The campaign will include train, bus, platform ads, radio ads, social media, and community event handouts.
• Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, Va. Hampton Roads Transit’s campaign will use sidewalk clings with safety messages, train wraps, and OLI materials and brochures to raise safety awareness for pedestrians and drivers along their 7.4-mile Norfolk-area light rail corridor.
• Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minn. Metro Transit will update their public safety outreach, including billboards, vehicle ads, posters, platform clings, social media and radio ads, with a goal of reducing light rail transit collisions with motorists and pedestrians.
• Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), Houston, Texas. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County's (METRO) project goal is to provide education to the Houston community about rail transit safety by distributing approved OLI materials, displaying transit safety messages on portable billboards and promoting rail safety education on social media.
• MTA Metro-North Railroad, New York, N.Y. MTA Metro-North's safety project will include two rail safety initiatives: a customized rail safety vehicle wrap and a rail safety “passport” book. Both initiatives will incorporate the existing OLI “See Tracks, Think Train” campaign messaging.
• Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Caltrain), San Carlos, Calif. Caltrain will conduct a safety awareness campaign, “You Are Not Faster Than A Train,” including a rail safety video, direct outreach, social media campaigns, brochures, and a podcast.
• Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, Pa. SEPTA will use the grant funding to enhance its suicide-prevention campaign aimed at reducing rail suicides among first responders and veterans at risk for suicide. This effort will be undertaken with the Regional Suicide Prevention Task Force of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
• Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), Los Angeles, Calif. Metrolink’s awareness campaign will include geo-fencing display advertising and English and Spanish radio commercials targeted at males ages 18-39 in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
• SunRail, Sanford, Fla. SunRail will use grant funds to launch an interactive mobile safety studio, with a photo booth and special safety-related props to share safety messages and distribute educational materials.
• Trinity Metro, Fort Worth, Texas. Trinity Metro’s campaign consists of two projects: community outreach classes and local events in schools and businesses close to grade crossings and rail lines, along with a social media awareness ad campaign throughout the regional corridor in which Trinity Metro’s two railroads operate.
Read the news release on the FTA grants
Read our report on Best Practices for Rail Transit Safety Education
More Passenger Rail Safety pages:
View and download our Transit Public Awareness Materials
Read Lorraine DePugh's story - New Jersey Transit commuter train operator
What Smart Commuters Know
The number of commuters is growing in the U.S. Learn what smart commuters do to stay safe.
MARTA Campaign Focuses on Distraction and Safety
Operation Lifesaver distraction PSAs were featured in a safety campaign on Atlanta's MARTA transit system.