That’s why we recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity for a new Safety Research & Demonstration (SRD) program, which puts $7 million of competitive grant funding toward innovative public transportation safety projects nationwide.
This new program builds on previous FTA research and safety efforts like last year’s Innovative Safety, Resiliency, and All-Hazards Emergency Response and Recovery Demonstration grants, and focuses on new technologies and safer vehicle designs to reduce the potential for accidents.
To encourage innovation, the range of eligible projects is varied. SRD funds could go toward new materials and designs, better stakeholder coordination and outreach, improved machine interfaces, and more.
Based in part on recent reports from the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), the 2016 SRD program is targeted at two areas:
- Collision mitigation and avoidance, and
- Protecting transit workers
We are hoping to fund state-of-the-art safety solutions such as automated warning systems that help bus operators avoid collisions and detect obstructions in their path.
Or, we might fund vehicle design improvements that reduce bus operator blind spots. We are also hoping to see applications for systems that prevent bus operator assaults, such as protective barriers, video surveillance systems, and emergency communication systems.
We are looking for FTA grant recipients to be the lead applicants, but we encourage partnerships between public transportation providers and stakeholders like universities, nonprofit groups, and private companies.
We’re accepting grant applications for this program through Friday, October 14th.
We’re excited to see what great new ideas come out of the safety research and demonstration program and are glad to have the opportunity to continue to encourage innovation in public transportation safety.
In short, we are looking for collaborative partnerships to develop creative and innovative ideas to promote transit safety.