July 10, 2019 - TRA Newswire -

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) has awarded $175,000 in grant funds to 10 rail transit agencies in eight states to increase rail transit safety public awareness and implement safety education projects and campaigns. Two Texas systems are the beneficiary of the grants.

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), Houston, Texas
Trinity Metro, Fort Worth, Texas

“These transit agencies will put their grant funding towards campaigns focusing on keeping the public safe when driving or walking near commuter trains, light rail or streetcars,” said OLI Executive Director Rachel Maleh. “We appreciate the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for its work with increasing visibility and awareness of the rail transit safety grant program. Operation Lifesaver is also very grateful to its safety partners at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for providing the funding.”

“FTA is proud to partner with Operation Lifesaver to support innovative rail transit safety awareness efforts in communities across the U.S.,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “Through these grants and outreach efforts like USDOT’s ‘Stop, Trains Can’t’ Campaign, we are making a difference and saving lives.”

The winning rail transit agencies will use their funds to create and launch several public awareness and education campaigns focused on the importance of safe behavior around rail transit systems.  Educational materials and community-based events will take place in states across the country, with the use of portable billboards, platform ads, radio ads, and social media outreach, demonstrating and encouraging rail transit safety among the general public. More information on the grant-funded campaigns is available on the Operation Lifesaver website at https://oli.org/about-us/passenger-rail-safety/.

The grant amounts range between $7,500 and $20,000 and require each agency to provide a 25 percent match. The educational campaigns will use OLI-approved materials and logos and be coordinated through state OL programs. A review panel evaluated the applications based upon criteria such as key safety messages, target audiences and evaluation methods. Safety campaigns will launch by the fall, Maleh noted.