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Rail Law Alert: FTA Issues Safety Advisory with Recommended Actions to Reduce Risk of COVID-19

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a Safety Advisory with recommended actions for transit agencies to ensure the continued safety of transit passengers and employees during the COVID-19 national emergency. 

The Safety Advisory includes numerous citations to the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance on COVID-19 generally as well as its specific guidance for Bus OperatorsRail Transit OperatorsTransit Maintenance Workers, and Transit Station Workers

The FTA’s recommendations are set forth in five actions that aim to reduce the likelihood that transit employees, contractors, and members of the public will contract or spread COVID-19.  The recommendations are considered guidance and are not binding legal requirements. 

The five recommended actions are:

  1. Establish and implement policies and procedures for transit agency employees and passengers regarding the use of face coverings and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of COVID-19 among employees and passengers.
     
  2. Establish and implement policies and procedures for routine cleaning and disinfection of surfaces frequently touched by employees and passengers, including equipment, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, vehicles, and facilities to reduce the risk of COVID-19 among employees and passengers.
     
  3. Establish and implement measures to create physical separation greater than 6 feet between transit facility employees, transit operators, and passengers.
     
  4. Establish and implement policies and procedures that reinforce healthy hygiene practices, including policies to provide sufficient opportunities for employees to practice healthy hygiene and to ensure transit vehicles and facilities are appropriately cleaned.
     
  5. Revise policies, procedures and measures developed and implemented pursuant to this Safety Advisory as new or revised CDC and OSHA guidance becomes available.

The FTA noted that transit agencies may use the $25 Billion in funding allocated under the CARES Act for recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds to implement the recommendations above.

If you have questions about the FTA’s Safety Advisory or FTA Funding under the CARES Act, please contact Chuck SpitulnikAllison FultzByron Smith, or Suzanne Silverman