The CPUC has safety and security regulatory authority over all rail transit and other public transit fixed guideway systems under Public Utilities Code Section 99152 and other statutes. CPUC Staff conduct continuous and ongoing safety oversight of rail and other transit agencies (RTAs) in California, and works in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the RTAs to enhance public safety and security. The CPUC's State Safety Oversight (SSO) Program was approved and certified by the Federal Transit Administration in accordance with the requirements of Federal public transportation safety law (49 United States Code §5329(e)) and FTA's SSO regulation (49 Code of Federal Regulation Part 674), on October 23, 2018. The CPUC’s Rail Transit Safety Branch (RTSB) implements the Commission’s program, and focuses on verification of compliance with the System Safety Program Plan/Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, System Security Plan, and Safety Certification Plans of each RTA to ensure that these plans meet all state and federal rules and regulations, and that RTAs are effectively implementing those plans and the RTA's adopted policies and procedures. 

RTSB’s engineers and analysts conduct continuous review and safety oversight of design and construction of capital projects, operations, emergency response, accident reporting, and incident investigation.  The RTSB inspectors conduct on-site visits to inspect infrastructure and vehicles, monitor operations, evaluate maintenance practices, and other activities to identify noncompliance, safety concerns, and unsafe conditions. 

The CPUC also prescribes safety and security requirements for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of heavy rail transit, light-rail transit, trolleys, and funicular systems in its General Orders, and assures those are carried out through RTSB activities and Commission Resolutions and Decisions pertaining to rail transit matters. The CPUC ensures that all rail transit system extensions and new construction projects undergo a safety certification review and approval.

Annual Reports

Reports of State Safety Oversight Activities for Rail Fixed Guideway Transportation Systems in California, as required by Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Section 674.13(a)(7)
Calendar Year 2020 Report - Dated March 15, 2021
Calendar Year 2019 Report - Dated March 15, 2020

RTSB’s Annual Publicly Available Report to FTA - dated April 30, 2019
Publicly Available Report for Calendar Year 2018 of State Safety Oversight Activities for Rail Fixed Guideway Public Transportation Systems in California

Additional RTSB Information

Reports summarizing comprehensive safety and security reviews of rail transit agencies conducted by CPUC staff

Rail Transit Incidents Overview
Number of rail transit incidents, injuries and fatalities

Rail Transit Citation Program
Provides information about CPUC's rail transit citation program and CPUC's citation appeal program

Rail Transit Safety Rules and Regulations
Rules and regulations about rail transit safety and security

Rail Transit Agency Websites
Websites of rail transit agencies and other government agencies involved in rail transit safety

Resolutions Granting RTAs Exemptions from GOs
Links to Commission Resolutions granting Rail Transit Agencies exemptions from Commission General Order requirements

Rail Transit Safety Branch Contacts
List of Names, responsibilities, mailing address, phone number, and email address for Rail Transit Safety Branch staff

Other Documents

CPUC State Safety Oversight Agency Program Standard Procedures Manual
Program Standard dated March 15, 2021

FTA Certification Letter
CPUC's SSO program was approved on October 23, 2018

OSHA Factsheet on Whistleblowers
Read the “Whistleblower Protection for Public Transportation Agency Workers” factsheet prepared by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)