/August 2017, Issue 9

August 2017, Issue 9

August 2017, Issue 92018-12-07T13:10:58-04:00
October 2017, Issue 9
Chair-image.jpgSolutions for the challenges we face in delivering public transportation cannot be developed in a vacuum. Consensus-based standards demonstrate how a partnership of all stakeholders within an industry can work to develop solutions to the collective challenges we face. Here at APTA, we are achieving this partnership to develop standards for public transportation.
The volunteers who support this effort are working for all the large and small partners within transit. It is important work that cannot be done without these volunteers and industry support. Participation in standards development activities and implementation of those standards already developed can help transit agencies and private partners streamline processes, trim costs by sharing resources, avoid or at least inform regulation, and make us safer and more secure as we grow as an industry.
Voluntary consensus standards bring private and public sectors together to find solutions for the challenges we each face. I encourage each of you to be part of this solution by volunteering on a working group, by educating yourself and your agency about existing standards, and by implementing standards into your agency’s processes. We are stronger when we stand together to face our challenges, and the APTA Standards Development Program provides an opportunity for each agency and person to be part of the partnership.

The Bus Standards Policy and Planning Committee did not host a meeting at the Annual Meeting and EXPO; instead the group will conduct an extended meeting at the 2018 Bus and Paratransit Conference in Tampa, Florida. The committee will conduct a series of web conferences over the fall and winter months to fill committee officer vacancies, to identify priorities and to develop an FY19 budget for all bus standards working groups.

The Brake and Chassis (B&C) Working Group did meet Oct. 12 and 13, 2017, in Atlanta. At the May meeting in Reno, the B&C members were tasked with creating a list of potential new documents to address new trends and technology relative to brake and chassis systems, such as the electrification of various subcomponents and new onboard sensors with the potential of assisting in preventive maintenance scheduling to increase reliability and safety of public transit fleets. These tasks and others were assigned to several sub-working groups for completion prior to the October meeting in Atlanta. The following are the sub-group documents (and their leads): Bus Procurement Guideline (Bruce Dahl), Remanufactured Components (Mark Barker), Brake Friction Assessment (Geoff Lawrence) and Treadle Service (Ken Bisson). Documents will be posted on the B&C collaboration page for review, comments, corrections and suggestions by the working group as a whole. The goal is to prepare the documents for publication. Webinars from the B&C have proved a successful tool in APTA’s efforts to act as an informational exchange and training and conduit for all APTA members, large and small. Subject matter for future webinars has also been identified, and development on these will continue this month.

PRESS made great strides in its renewal effort during the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. Work continues on four Construction and Structural (C&S) documents with the hope that they will be able to go to public comment around the turn of the calendar year. The Electrical Working Group has a new chair, Tammy Krause of Amtrak. The Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) Working Group published nine documents during the first quarter, and the remaining eight will be available for public comment prior to the end of the calendar year. The next I&M cycle will focus on adapting the I&M standards into an auditable form similar to the safety and security audits. The Mechanical Working Group is also newly chaired, by Dave Warner of SEPTA. Work continues apace on the suite of ECP Braking Standards with hopes that all eight will go to public comment within the coming months. The first CFR-cited standard is currently in public comment, and the Passenger Systems (PS) Working Group continues work on the renewal of two existing documents, as well as the combination of two additional documents into a single standard, with the hope that it will be ready for public comment prior to the end of the calendar year. Work continues in the Wheel-Rail Interface Working Group toward joint documentation with AREMA.

The Rail Standards Policy & Planning Committee met at the APTA Annual Meeting and EXPO. The committee provided an update on current activities and identified priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. No face-to-face meetings were held this quarter; all work was conducted via web and audio conference.

The Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance (VIM) Working Group conducted several conference calls this quarter and prepared the following five documents for final approval: VIM RT-S-003-02, Rev. 2, “Air Supply and Air Storage Systems Periodic Inspection and Maintenance,” VIM RT-S-007-02, Rev. 2, “Friction Brake Equipment Periodic Inspection and Maintenance,” VIM RT-S-020-10, Rev. 1, “Emergency Lighting for Rail Transit Vehicles,” VIM RT-S-021-10, Rev. 3, “Emergency Signage for Rail Transit Vehicles,” and VIM RT-S-022-10, Rev. 4, “Low-Location Emergency Path Marking for Rail Transit Vehicles.”

The Fixed Structures Inspection and Maintenance Working Group has prepared three documents for publication, including FS RT-S-004-02, Rev. 1, “Traction Electrification Substation Inspection and Maintenance,” FS RT-S-005-02, Rev. 1, “Traction Electrification Stray Current/Corrosion Control Equipment Inspection and Maintenance,” and FS RT-S-006-02, Rev. 1, “Traction Electrification Distribution System Inspection, Maintenance and Testing.”

The Rail Transit Grade Crossing (RGC) Working Group has prepared RGC RT-RP-003-03, Rev. 3, “Rail Transit Systems Highway Rail Grade Crossing Safety Assessment,” and RGC RT-S-004-03, Rev. 2, “Rail Transit Grade Crossing Warning System Design Criteria, Installation and Operation,” for final authorization by the Rail Standards Policy & Planning Committee.

The Operating Practice (OP) Working Group will meet later this month and advance the following documents for publication: OP RT-S-001-02, Rev. 2, “Rule Book Development and Authority,” OP RT-S-002-02, Rev. 2, “Rail Transit Accident/Incident Notification and Investigation,” and OP RT-S-005-03, Rev. 2, “Operations Control Centers.”


APTA and TSA hosted the four security standards working groups in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 18 to 20, 2017. In addition to working collaboratively on the development and revision of Recommended Practices, standards and white papers, the group received briefings from DHS and the FBI on cybersecurity and the current threat of terrorism as it relates to transit.

The Security and Emergency Management (SEM) Working Group is in the process of publishing the Recommended Practice “Developing and Implementing an Emergency Management Plan.” The SEM group reviewed and updated the following documents at its meeting in D.C., which are ready to be submitted for APTA editorial review before publication with a new date: “First Responder Familiarization of Transit Systems,” “Suspension of Service of a Public Transportation System and Recovery,” “Shelter of Transit Vehicles and Nonrevenue Equipment During Emergencies,” “Creating an Alternate or Backup OCC” and “Participating in Mutual Aid.” The group also began review of “Contagious Virus Response Plan” and development of “Developing an Emergency Management Program.” SEM held a web conference on Sept. 29 to continue the group’s efforts with the latter two documents.

Infrastructure & Systems Security (ISS) Working Group is working on the Recommended Practices for CPTED, lighting and bus stops. ISS reviewed existing standards and developed a list of five existing Infrastructure standards that just need a minor refresh and can be provided for approval for republishing as early as Nov. 1. ISS identified three existing infrastructure standards that need some minor rewrites and estimated that they can be delivered by Dec. 31. The working group is developing four new standards, developed last year by ISS and/or the Risk Management Working Group, that will be given a final review and comment by the group for final approval by the end of the year.

The Enterprise Cybersecurity (ECS) Working Group is working on several projects involving material to explain cybersecurity to agency personnel and their boards. In addition, they are developing a resiliency and separation-of-duties paper for small and medium-size transit properties.

The Control & Communications Security Working Group is developing two white papers, one for transit bus cybersecurity and the other for rail car networks and cybersecurity.


This summer, members of the APTA Urban Design Working Group met at the APTA Sustainability and Multimodal Planning Workshop in Minneapolis. Members met to develop best practices for transit agencies interested in addressing the growing demand for bicycle mobility and connectivity to stations, as well as universal design guidelines for transit facilities. The Recommended Practices “Bike and Transit Integration” and “Universal Design Guidelines” are expected late this year. The Urban Design Working Group also held a webinar in late September to provide an overview of current documents in development, as well as to discuss topics and issues for new products.

In the last quarter, the Technology Standards Policy & Planning Committee was restructured and conducted several web conferences to discuss the roles and responsibilities of the committee. Work is proceeding on the update of CCTV standards. The TCIP working group met to plan the update to training materials to reflect the incorporation of light rail and to demand response capabilities in the standards.

Forming Partnerships to Enhance Standards Development
The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and APTA are working together to create training opportunities for APTA members and the transit industry. The two organizations also have agreed to assist each other to produce safety standards and Recommended Practices that best serve the public transportation industry. Related activities may include information exchange, seminars and training, joint committee meetings, and other such activities. This joint effort is closely aligned to work collaboratively with U.S. government representatives from the Federal Transit Administration to help guide development of rules and industry safety standards related to transit.
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