Federal role in transit rail safety debated
Under current law, the Federal Transit Administration is prohibited from directly regulating the nation's public transit systems. Instead, they are regulated through the FTA's State Safety Oversight program, which calls for the states to set their own safety standards and implement rail safety oversight and audit programs to measure compliance. However, the legal authorities, budgets and staff levels of the various state oversight agencies vary widely across the country.
Recently, a group of experts debated the issue of what role the federal government should have at NationalJournal.com's Transportation blog.