Home Transit News Passenger Rail Ohio first in the nation with certified public-rail safety program

Ohio first in the nation with certified public-rail safety program

By James Ewinger, The Plain Dealer

A mechanic inspects an old light-rail car, being stripped for parts inside RTA's rail yard facility in Cleveland, Ohio, Friday, November 20, 2015. RTA salvages the parts from its old cars to maintain its aging fleet. (Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Good news arrived for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and the state of Ohio on Tuesday with the announcement that Ohio is the first state with a federally certified oversight plan to assure safety on public rail lines.

The announcement came in a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, which identified Ohio as one of 30 states with public rail transportation. The other 29 states risk the withholding of all federal funds for public transportation — bus and rail — until they have a certified State Safety Oversight Plan. All are supposed to have such a plan by April 2019.

Ken Prendergast, executive director of the rail advocacy group All Aboard Ohio, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that “by having this program in place nobody is going to be denied federal funds for NOT having the program.”

“By being first, it might put us first in line for badly needed State of Good Repair funds,” he said.

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