Early FTA Safety Certification Paves Way for Federal Funds
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced on Monday, March 19, 2018, that Hawaiʻi has obtained federal certification of its rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) program over a year in advance of a statutorily determined deadline.
Without this certification, the federal government would not have been able to continue funding transit programs in the state past April 15, 2019.
To ensure public transportation agencies in the State of Hawaiʻi, including TheBus and TheHandiVan, are able to continue receipt of their portion of federal formula funds ($45 million annually), the state Department of Transportation took proactive steps to ensure compliance with these federal regulations. Department staff worked closely with the FTA to prepare for SSO certification, submitting its formal application on January 19, 2018.
“Getting this certification so early demonstrates the state’s commitment to the safety of our existing public transit programs and oversight of HART’s project and operations,” said Gov. David Ige.
“Safety is our number one priority for all transportation systems,” said Jade Butay, director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation. “Having established protocols to ensure those choosing to ride rail or other transit options are safe is critical and we appreciate the guidance and assistance from the FTA in the review of our State Safety Oversight program.”
Overview of SSO MAP-21 certification categories
Link to USDOT News Release
Link to FTA MAP-21 Fact Sheet
Link to FTA February 2018 Certification Status Table