State Safety Oversight Program

The TDOT State Safety Oversight (SSO) program is required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and applies to rail transit agencies (RTAs) not regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the State of Tennessee (Memphis Vintage Trolleys & Chattanooga Incline Railroad). The authorization for FTA’s and TDOT’s SSO programs stems from the FTA’s goal of providing coordinated regulatory oversight through Federal and State corporation as initially envisioned in 49 U.S.C. Section 5330 (State Safety Oversight). The TDOT SSO does this by implementing a Federally compliant Program Standard and other program elements sufficient to enforce system safety through a Safety Management System (SMS) of Tennessee’s RTAs.


Click here for Tennessee's Rail Transit Safety Program Standard (2/24)

Click here for Tennessee's May 2022-2023 Annual Safety Report

The core functions of the TDOT SSO program include:

  • Promulgate and enforce state rules and regulation, including establishing enforcement and investigative authorities
  • Enforce federal rules and regulation
  • Establish and carry out legal and financial obligations independent of the RTAs in the state
  • Hire and develop staff and contract support, as needed and required
  • Manage federal and state grant programs
  • Implement a robust and active oversight program sufficient to meet the safety oversight needs of the RTAs in the state
  • Every year TDOT publishes the Annual Safety Report, as required by 49 CFR part  §674.13 (a)(7):

    "At least once a year, the SSOA reports the status of the safety of each rail fixed
guideway public transportation system to the Governor, the FTA, and the board
of directors, or equivalent entity, of the rail fixed guideway public
transportation system."

For more information, please contact Chris Broach.