The APTA Bus Safety & Security Awards program recognizes transit organizations and transit contractors for their commitment to improving the safety and security of transit employees, customers, and communities through application of effective safety and/or security initiatives. The award recipients should represent exemplary standards in the development and implementation of educational, training, and supportive programs that create and sustain a culture of safety within the workplace and result in exceptional service and security for the public and the communities served.

This bus safety awards program is designed to not only recognize exceptional safety and security performance for individual transit providers, but to also better serve the industry by benchmarking successful programs for others to adopt and derive similar benefits.  The winning submittals will be posted on the APTA website for access by all agencies and APTA members.


For the purpose of these awards, public transportation systems are divided into categories based upon annual unlinked passenger trips, consistent with other APTA awards.

  • Public transportation systems providing fewer than 4 million annual passenger trips
  • Public transportation systems providing more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million annual passenger trips
  • Public transportation systems providing more than 20 million annual passenger trips
  • Private companies providing contracted transportation management and services to public transportation systems

Nomination Instructions

  • Read  the evaluation criteria for Bus Safety and Bus Security carefully before preparing a nomination.
  • Provide safety/security program element descriptions on this nomination form and attach any data that documents their effectiveness.
  • Please attach any supporting documentation (i.e. letters, data, articles, etc.).  While the inclusion of attachments is allowed, the judging and scores will be evaluated based on the information contained under the four criteria sections.
  • All safety/security-related data and program summaries should be accurate and verifiable.
  • Along with the nomination form, submit a cover sheet with the signature of the agency’s Chief Executive Officers, or equivalent, attesting to the legitimacy of all information included.
  • No fee is required to enter the competition.

The nomination should include the following:

  • A brief description and history of the safety or security problem and the impact to the transit system;
  • The program or project that was implemented to address that problem, the goals and objectives identified to fix the problem;
  • A summary of the specific results achieved and the related benefits to the system. What was the system like before the intervention and what was it like after. Results should correlate directly to the specific program or project; and
  • A description of how this practice could be beneficially applied to other bus systems


Within each category group, one major award and one certificate will be presented.  These are as follows:

  • Gold Award – presented to the system from each category with the best overall safety or security achievement.
  • Certificate of Merit – presented to the system from each category considered by the subcommittee as a finalist in competition for the gold award of that category.

In addition to recognizing the system or provider, information on the successful programs and projects will be posted to the APTA website as industry best practices. Nominees selected to receive the Gold Award will be asked to produce and submit a 1-2 minute video that briefly describes the safety or security initiative and the benefits derived. This will allow the award recipient’s programs to help enrich the entire industry.  Proprietary or copyright protected programs purchased from third party vendors which cannot be shared openly as work products of the transit agency or contract provider will not be considered for award.

The APTA Bus Safety Committee will appoint an independent awards subcommittee to determine the winners in each category as specified, based on the information submitted.  The winners will be announced at the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference.


  • All emergency management/preparedness practices and programs, including “all hazards”, should be submitted under the Security category.
  • For paratransit initiatives and programs, select the appropriate category for system-wide ridership.
  • Entries by private operators are considered to be corporate level and the information submitted should be inclusive of all contracted services.
  • APTA reserves the right to accept one award (safety or security) for any of the four ridership categories, if the number of quality submittals does not warrant multiple awards. The highest scoring submittal irrespective of safety or security focus will be chosen.

Return to Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards page.

Updated: January 2021

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