Evaluation of Non-punitive Employee Safety Reporting to Improve Transit Safety

In response to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’s (MAP-21) and its successor, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has established the Safety Management Systems (SMS) framework as the basis for their new National Public Transportation Safety Program. One key aspect to effective SMS implementation is the establishment of a proactive, non-punitive employee safety reporting system, to assist in establishing a positive safety culture within the organization. A successful non-punitive self-reporting system will aid in the resolution of potential risks prior to any bus accident or incident occurring. The FTA presentation titled, “Safety Management System (SMS) Approach and FTA’s Research Initiatives” indicates that the purposed final rule for Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) has a requirement that an employee reporting program be developed as part of an agency’s SMS implementation. At the very base of the challenge to incorporating this issue is a cultural shift. In the past, transit unions and their employees have often faced disciplinary actions when bringing issues forward to management. A shift is needed across the board to ensure that safety is the ultimate goal with root cause analysis and corrective actions being developed and shared throughout the industry. In order to establish the SMS framework, including non-punitive employee reporting, an evaluation of the implementation would be beneficial to the transit industry to minimize the challenges associated with program implementation. The objective of this research is to produce a compilation of the best practices used in non- punitive employee-reporting programs at transit agencies. The best practices would include examples of how non-punitive employee-reporting programs benefit transit agencies and their employees and could be used to assist transit agencies with developing their program.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project F-27

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20180501
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01667916
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project F-27
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2018 3:14PM