Washington, D.C. (December 29, 2020) – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is proud to report that every required commuter railroad is now Positive Train Control (PTC) certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and has met the December 31, 2020 implementation deadline. PTC is a complex signaling and communications technology that provides critical safety redundancies to already safe commuter rail services.

“Riding commuter rail is 18 times safer than driving an auto, and this monumental achievement of positive train control certification will make commuter rail service even safer,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Our commuter rail operators have devoted tremendous time and resources to ensuring the safety of riders through PTC implementation. I want to thank the Federal Railroad Administration, in particular Administrator Ronald Batory, for the leadership and guidance provided to the commuter rail industry through the implementation process.”

“Twenty-nine commuter rail operators worked tirelessly to meet the December 31, 2020 deadline set by Congress. Industry-wide implementation of PTC has been a massive undertaking, achieved only through dedication and innovation by these operators along with PTC equipment providers, consultants, and the FRA. Technological systems needed to be developed, customized, and installed to meet the unique operating requirements of each and every rail operator while ensuring that the PTC system was interoperable with other passenger and freight operators that share the tracks with commuter rail operators. Commuter rail operators have invested over $4 billion dollars to implement PTC and will spend hundreds of millions each year in maintenance and operation costs.”

“The successful implementation of PTC by all twenty-nine commuter rail agencies is a remarkable achievement given the funding, technological, and human resources challenges associated with PTC implementation, operations, and maintenance,” said North County Transit District CEO and Chair of APTA’s Commuter Rail CEO Committee, Matthew Tucker. “The industry would not have been successful without the tremendous dedication and efforts by our employees who worked tirelessly to learn, implement, and trouble-shoot this new technology. On behalf of all commuter rail CEOs, many thanks to our employees for their efforts in achieving this success.”

“Now that the federal mandate has been met, commuter rail agencies will be focused on PTC system maintenance, reliability, and in the future, gaining operational efficiencies based on additional PTC technological advancements,” said Metra CEO and Vice-Chair of APTA’s Commuter Rail CEO Committee, Jim Derwinski.


 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.

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