USA: Operation Lifesaver launches transit safety initiative

30 Sep

LXinfoImage929-FTA logoLXinfoImage782-OLrailsafetyeducationlogoWashington, DC’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Operation Lifesaver has launched a joint Look, Listen, Be Safe! campaign to educate students and their families about streetcar safety. The campaign is aimed at helping students be safe when interacting with Washington, DC’s new Streetcar system that will begin operation later this year.

Educator toolkits featuring grade-specific lesson plans, activity sheets, posters and parent take-home letters were delivered to K-12 schools along the new Streetcar corridor throughout September. The in-school educational materials were funded by a USD25,000 grant from Operation Lifesaver to DDOT last year, as part of an ongoing partnership between Operation Lifesaver and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). DDOT was one of eight transit agencies to receive an Operation Lifesaver grant in 2013 with funding from FTA.

“Educating students and families will help make safe behavior around the new DC Streetcar system an automatic habit for citizens,” said Joyce Rose, President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver in the USA. “We are happy that our grant will help deliver this lifesaving information to these community schools.”

The DC Streetcar Educator Tool Kit materials, as well as materials from additional OLI-funded passenger rail safety projects, can be viewed on the Operation Lifesaver website at http://www.oli.org/rail-safety/transit-materials.

With support from FTA, Operation Lifesaver provides grants to state Operation Lifesaver programmes and transit agencies to support local partnerships for the development and implementation of creative safety programmes and materials to help keep those in their communities safer.

“The Federal Transit Administration is pleased to partner once again with Operation Lifesaver,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “As more and more communities around the nation choose to build light rail, streetcars, and other transit services that operate alongside pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, we must continue to educate everyone on the importance of putting safety first.”

To compete for Operation Lifesaver transit education grants of up to USD25,000, transit agencies are required to meet a 25% non-federally funded match, their proposed programmes must focus on safety education or public awareness initiatives, and they must make use of Operation Lifesaver-approved materials and logos and be coordinated through a state Operation Lifesaver programme.

Operation Lifesaver recently announced eleven grant winners in 10 states for 2014, including: Sacramento Regional Transit District, CA.; City of Atlanta, GA.; Rio Metro Regional Transit District, Albuquerque, NM.; Illinois Operation Lifesaver/Metra, Greater Chicago; Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), TX; New Jersey Transit, Greater Newark; Bi-State Development Agency (Metro) greater St Louis area, MO.; Fort Worth Transportation Authority/The T,TX; Ohio Operation Lifesaver/Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA); Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Greater Salt Lake City; and, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ..

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