On October 30, 2023, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published an Advanced Notice of Public Rulemaking (ANPRM), 88 FR 74107, seeking public comment on minimum safety standards requiring that transit workers receive adequate rest to reduce fatigue-related safety incidents. FTA defines “transit worker” in the ANPRM as any employee, contractor, or volunteer working on behalf of a public transit agency.
FTA seeks public comment on two areas of consideration: hours of service (HOS) and fatigue risk management programs (FRMP). Public comments are due by December 29, 2023.
Under 49 U.S.C. § 5329(b)(2), FTA is tasked with developing a National Public Transportation Safety Plan (NSP) to ensure that public transportation systems are operated safely. FTA issued the first NSP in 2017. On May 31, 2023, FTA published proposed revisions to the NSP in the Federal Register, 88 FR 34917. The proposed revisions were meant to address the requirements of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), 49 U.S.C. § 5329(f)(7), which authorized FTA to promulgate rules to carry out the NSP. Currently, the safety standards in the NSP are voluntary, but FTA is considering implementing mandatory standards for HOS and FRMP for transit workers. FTA notes in the ANPRM that the transit industry is currently the only mode of transportation that does not have mandatory hours of service or fatigue risk management standards.
In the ANPRM, FTA refers to several National Transportation Safety Board investigations into fatigue-related transit accidents and the ensuing safety recommendations, R-15-018 and R-15-019, that FTA establish HOS and FRMP regulations. Additionally, FTA’s Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) made similar recommendations in 2014 that FTA adopt these regulations. FTA is considering adopting HOS and FRMP regulations adopted by other federal agencies, such as the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration as well as model standards developed by the American Public Transportation Association.
The ANPRM does not make any specific recommendations or provide proposed regulatory language. Instead, the ANPRM asks for public input and data submissions on the following topics:
- Regulatory Options
- Benefits and Costs
- Fatigue Data Collection
- Current Hours of Service and Fatigue Risk Management Policies
The ANPRM lists specific questions under each of the above categories for commenters to address and provide input. A list of the questions can be found here: