Insights

Virtual Audits: Adapting to Stay Safe
TRA's support of state safety oversight (SSO) clients in numerous states has taken different forms over the past four months, but one element has emerged as essential: the virtual audit.
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BART Safety Plan Approved, A Major Milestone in Agency SMS
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has been working for the past year on developing a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) that effectively addresses safety throughout the organization.
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Meet Our Team: Bill Matthews
Get to know Senior Director Bill Matthews and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Resiliency: Moving Beyond Recovery to Support Transit
The COVID-19 crisis has illuminated new challenges for transportation organizations, and highlighted with increased urgency existing problems these entities face.
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FTA Resource for Transit Addresses COVID-19
The FTA has created a COVID-19 resource tool that will be updated weekly to account for federal guidance relevant to the public transportation industry.
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Meet Our Team: Sam Korach
Get to know Project Analyst Sam Korach and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Transit Envisions the Future: What Will a COVID-19 Recovery Look Like?
As the U.S. grapples with the ongoing challenges presented by the coronavirus and its impacts, many transit agencies are examining how adjustments to daily life and the needs of transit riders will impact their operations over the coming months and years.
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CDC Releases Detailed Guidelines for Transit During COVID-19
The CDC has released more detailed guidelines for transit agencies to protect employees and the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Meet Our Team: Jenny Kane
Get to know Project Manager Jenny Kane and learn about the work she does at TRA.
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Supporting Clients Every Day, Even At A Distance
With the COVID-19 pandemic, TRA has adapted to new ways of doing business. Although the Philadelphia headquarters office is closed and travel on hold, TRA continues to meet clients’ needs in innovative ways.
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The CARES Act: What Does It Mean for Transit?
In order to help the finances of public transportation in the United States, the CARES Act allocates $25 billion to be distributed to public transportation providers throughout the United States. TRA has created a briefing on essential CARES Act information, detailing how the legislation impacts public transit agencies.
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Meet Our Team: Charles Lindrooth
Get to know Project Analyst Charles Lindrooth and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Autonomous Vehicles Face Increased Safety Reviews Amidst Expansion
In the wake of several accidents and calls for additional oversight, regulators are beginning to recognize the need to develop policies around Autonomous Vehicles (AV) and how they will be required to operate in the public sphere.
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In West Virginia, Training for a New Kind of Safety Management
Over the past several weeks, TRA team members have traveled to West Virginia to conduct training on new Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASPs) that will go into effect at bus agencies around the country on June 20, 2020.
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Meet Our Team: Dan McGurl
Get to know Project Analyst Dan McGurl and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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FTA Capital Investment Grants Highlight Transit’s Progress in U.S.
In allocations for the fiscal year 2020-2021, the list for which Congress released this month, the FTA has granted several high-profile transit system extensions significant dollar amounts to increase their coverage, as well as projects dedicated to performing state of good repair maintenance.
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TRA Project Supports New Bay Area Transportation Modes
Public transportation remains a critical link in the mobility network of the San Francisco Bay Area, yet with the area’s current growth patterns, many large organizations are rethinking transportation options for their employees.
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Meet Our Team: Robert Kogan
Get to know Vice President Robert Kogan and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Looking Forward: Transportation in 2020
2019 saw new advances in the transportation industry move at lightning speed, yet some of the most significant changes for public transit in particular came from increased interest and investment from both federal and municipal governments.
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TRA Projects in 2019
Highlights from TRA's year include expanded projects with state safety oversight clients, new work with state DOTs on Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans, and international travel to assist with fire testing for new rail vehicles.
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Company Highlights and Milestones
2019 was a year of growth for TRA, as we witnessed the transformation of our headquarters space at 1608 Walnut Street, added four new staff members to our roster, and expanded our client support to new locations and types of work.
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High-Speed Rail Gains New Momentum Around the Country
In places as varied as Dallas, Seattle, California and the northeastern U.S., high-speed rail is seeing renewed interest and investment.
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Florida Department of Transportation and TRA: A Unique Team
TRA's work in Florida not only covers rail systems regulated by the FTA, but also airport peoplemover systems, commuter rail systems, and bus agencies.
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Meet Our Team: Michael Blauvelt
Get to know Senior Project Analyst Michael Blauvelt and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Around the U.S., Upgrades and Investments Improve Transit
A host of overhauls, extensions, and new starts are giving transit systems around the country a boost. TRA has been assisting several of these key efforts.
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Operational Safety with Denver Transit Operators
A team of TRA personnel, led by Senior Consultant Bill Matthews, recently conducted a review of safety functions at Denver Transit Operators (DTO). DTO provides operations and maintenance of the Denver Regional Transportation District’s commuter rail lines.
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Meet Our Team: Christopher Wallgren
Get to know Vice President Christopher Wallgren and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Transportation and Infrastructure See Investment From Federal Government
The U.S. Senate has released its transportation funding plan, including investments in the sorts of projects that promote transportation energy efficiency, reduced particulate pollution, and infrastructure resiliency to the effects of climate change.
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A Busy Season with the Delaware River Port Authority
TRA currently has several projects underway with the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA), providing regional and agency-specific security support.
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Meet Our Team: Kyle Hearing
Get to know Project Analyst Kyle Hearing and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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$300 Million in Transit Grants and Safety Support Across the Country
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Operation Lifesaver have given extensive grants for transit expansion and safety improvements respectively to transit systems around the U.S.
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Safety and Security Certification Support for Sound Transit
As subcontractors to Talson Solutions, TRA recently performed several audits for Seattle's Sound Transit in their efforts to monitor the effectiveness of safety and security certification processes.
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Meet Our Team: Amelija Sorg-Taylor
Get to know Project Analyst Amelija Sorg-Taylor and learn about the work she does at TRA.
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VTA Extends Light Rail, Works to Keep Operations Safe
In a nod to continued population growth in the region, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announced it would greenlight an extension of its light rail line in San Jose.
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TRA’s Safety and Security Review Support Across the Country
TRA team members were in Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Tennessee, and New York this past month supporting the work of state safety oversight agencies and transit agencies in their safety and security projects.
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Meet Our Team: Zach Billet
Get to know Project Analyst Zach Billet and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Meet Our Team: Mike Catsos
Get to know Senior Project Analyst Mike Catsos and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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A TRA Trip to Italy for Railcar Fire Testing
As part of its rail state safety oversight project with the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), TRA subject matter expert Bill Matthews traveled to Florence, Italy to witness key railcar testing.
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Bus Rapid Transit: Keeping a Fast-Expanding Mode Safe
Increasingly, U.S. transit agencies are considering BRT as an option that allows for higher volume than bus routes on common corridors, but requires less infrastructure investment than rail transit. TRA has worked with both mature and new BRT lines to maximize operational safety and security.
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Credit: Lauren Holley on Flickr
Project Analyst, Philadelphia
The Project Analyst supports TRA’s consulting staff and their highly varied, technical field work. Responsibilities include participating in client interviews, field assessments, and observations; documenting business processes; writing and editing reports and proposals; interpreting and editing client documentation and procedures; and providing data, information, and analyses for use by TRA.
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Marketing Intern, Part-Time
TRA is seeking an intern to assist with overall marketing and business development activities. The position will also help with social media efforts and graphic design for marketing materials, as well as updating the TRA website and supporting proposal development and other outreach efforts.
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Meet Our Team: James Young
Get to know Project Manager James Young and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Credit: Lauren Holley on Flickr
City Departments of Transportation: How Can They Benefit Public Infrastructure?
The City of Atlanta is currently considering a proposal by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to create a municipal Department of Transportation. Such a move would put Atlanta in the company of peer cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Seattle, all of which have created entities to facilitate coordination between city departments that control assets in or near the street.
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APTA Highlights Critical Public Transit Infrastructure Investment Needs
In a recently published brief, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) was encouraged that so many lawmakers agree on the need for infrastructure investment, and called for bipartisan efforts to address infrastructure spending needs.
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New Project: TRA Assists West Virginia with PTASP Development
TRA recently contracted with the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) to assist eight small urban bus agencies in the development of safety management systems (SMS) and public transportation agency safety plans.
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TRA Project: Reviewing BART’s Transportation Overtime Efficiency
TRA is assessing the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) transportation department’s overtime, especially as it relates to key positions such as train operators, station agents, and foreworkers.
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Catch Our Webinar on the New PTASP/SMS Rule
Did you miss the joint TRA/IndustrySafe webinar this past Wednesday? You can catch it on our YouTube channel!
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New Consultants in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Join the TRA Team
TRA is excited to welcome two new members to our team, April Dorcak and Stephanie Turner.
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NTSB Most Wanted: Distractions, Fatigue, and Implementing PTC Top the List
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its yearly "Most Wanted List" for 2019-2020, featuring issues of critical importance to reducing hazards and accidents across the industry.
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Meet Our Team: Angel Jacome
Get to know Project Analyst Angel Jacome and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Register for Our Joint Webinar on PTASP/SMS
Don't miss our webinar on the new FTA rules on Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASP) and Safety Management Systems (SMS), in partnership with the safety management experts at IndustrySafe.
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New projects, new connections: Public transit continues expanding in 2019
In 2019, a vast array of new transit projects will begin construction in North America, with a price tag of more than $91 billion.
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SMS and PTASPs: TRA technical support for new regulations
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s new regulation, 49 CFR Part 673, requires transit agencies fitting certain criteria to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS) and have a Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP). To help agencies meet these requirements, TRA is working with several jurisdictions to develop and implement SMS programs and PTASPs.
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It’s here! TRA’s new website is live
After many months in development, our brand-new website is up and running, loaded with information about our team, our projects, our experience, and how we support transportation and infrastructure projects and oversight around the country.
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Meet Our Team: John Weisgerber
Get to know Senior Director of Engineering John Weisgerber and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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Meet Our Team: Julie Bender
Get to know Business Development Manager Julie Bender. She has experience at TRA in business process analysis, rail and bus transit safety, and organizational management analysis.
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New TRA Website Launching in January 2019
In January of 2019, TRA will debut a brand-new company website, enabling our clients, prospective clients, and industry peers to connect with us and learn more about who we are and what we do.
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2018 in Review: Growing Projects, Clients, and the TRA Team
2018 was an exciting year for TRA, as we expanded our reach to clients from coast to coast and added three new TRA team members. Our work included safety and security assessments, organizational and budget analysis, and technical support for a variety of projects, among other efforts. Below you'll find a brief summary of highlights from our work in 2018.
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Public transit projects won $195 million in BUILD grants for 2018
Public transportation investment received a boost this year with the announcement that $1.5 billion would be awarded through Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants in Fiscal Year 2018, with 13 percent going to public transportation projects.
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TRA Releases Webinars to Navigate New FTA PTASP Requirements
TRA has created a series of webinars designed to help transit agencies and state safety oversight (SSO) agencies understand and implement new requirements from the Federal Transit Administration around Public Transportation Agency Safety Plans (PTASPs).
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BART Announces Plans for New Transbay Rail Crossing
The Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority (BART) has announced plans to build an additional crossing for rail to bridge the San Francisco Bay.
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FRA Issues Final Rule for High-Speed Rail
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a final rule governing the safety and operations of high-speed passenger trains in the United States, paving the way for high-speed rail to operate with fewer obstacles and setting safety standards for these systems across the industry.
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Meet Our Team: Stephanie Malin
I began working for TRA right after the completion of my Master's of Public Administration degree. Throughout school, I had worked for the Institute for Public Administration, in Newark, Delaware, where I focused on the development of complete communities and the interaction between transportation access and public health
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$366 million in USDOT Grants to Overhaul Bus Service in the U.S.
On the heels of 49 CFR Part 673’s release (see our newsletter article from September), the FTA has announced more than $366 million in grants aimed at improving bus infrastructure across the country.
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GOAA
TRA and FDOT Lead Review of Orlando Airport’s Automated People Mover
In late September, TRA conducted a three-year audit of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s (GOAA) Automated People Mover (APM) systems on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
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​Missouri State Safety Oversight Program Certified Under MAP-21
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) achieved certification from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for their State Safety Oversight (SSO) program on September 24th
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Meet Our Team: Joshu Shih
I joined TRA after my graduate program in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.  My first clients were the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Rail Transit Safety Review Program and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s AirTrain Safety Oversight Board.
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Accident Investigation Training
TRA team members recently provided incident investigation training to executives, managers, and supervisors at a U.S. commuter rail agency.
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FTA Releases 49 CFR Part 673: Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Final Rule
Under 49 CFR Part 673, all transit agencies receiving Urbanized Area Formula Funding Grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must implement Public Transportation Safety Plans (PTASPs) that comply with this new regulation.
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Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee Achieve MAP-21 SSO Certification
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) all recently achieved certification from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for their State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs this August.
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Meet Our Team: Daniela Amores
Get to know Director of Systems Engineering Daniela Amores and learn about the work she does at TRA.
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MAP-21/Part 674 Certification Achieved for Nine TRA State Safety Oversight Clients
On July 25th, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the latest round of states to receive certifications for their State Safety Oversight (SSO) Programs.
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Meet Our Team: Daniel Hauber
Get to know Vice President Daniel Hauber and learn about the work he does at TRA.
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CASE and TRA TRB Projects Published
Working with our partner and prime contractor CASE, TRA recently completed two-volume Transit Cooperative Research Project Research Report 193, "Tools and Strategies for Eliminating Assaults Against Transit Operators." We are proud of our work with CASE, and with this important transit security initiative.
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Incident Investigation Technical Assistance
TRA recently began an exciting project reviewing incident investigation procedures and recent investigation reports for a U.S. commuter rail agency. The commuter rail operator seeks to improve incident investigation processes, as well as the safety-related interaction between departments.
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