Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2020) – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that based on the third quarter of 2020 reports, the commuter rail industry is on track to complete full implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) by the December 2020 deadline. PTC is a complex signaling and communications technology that provides critical safety redundancies to an already safe commuter rail industry.

As of September 30, 2020, 100% of railroads are PTC certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) or awaiting FRA approval on submitted PTC safety plans. Seven out of 23 railroads are certified by FRA, and 16 railroads have submitted their safety plans to FRA, a required step before certification, and are awaiting the agency’s approval. Six other commuter railroads are tenants and their hosts have been approved by FRA.

“The commuter rail industry is poised to complete full implementation of positive train control by December 2020,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Riding commuter rail is 18 times safer than driving an auto, and as an industry, we are committed to being a leader in rider safety by implementing Positive Train Control. Our industry has devoted tremendous time and resources to ensuring the safety of riders through PTC implementation.”

100% of all 2018 milestones had been completed by 28 commuter railroads.

  • 100% of spectrum acquired
  • 100% of wayside equipment installed
  • 100% of onboard equipment installed
  • 100% of back-office control systems set up

For more information on PTC, visit apta.com/ptc.


 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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