APTA names 2019 Rail Safety & Security Excellence Award winners

The awards recognize public transit systems in North America with best safety and security programs

July 02, 2019
rail safety and security; APTA

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recently announced the winners of the association's 2019 Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards at the annual APTA Rail Conference in Toronto, Ontario.

The APTA Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transportation organizations for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs. It also provides value to the industry by benchmarking successful programs so other public transit systems can adopt them and derive similar benefits.

“Congratulations to the award winning public transit systems for their successful safety and security transportation programs that are models of excellence for the rest of the industry,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said in a release. “These initiatives illustrate the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security in the public transit industry.”

Nominations for the awards are evaluated on four criteria: effectiveness, benefit level, innovation, and transferability. 

The 2019 Rail Safety Award winners include:


  • Gold Award for Safety—MTA NY - Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): creation of a Right-of-way task force
  • Certificate of Merit for Safety—Virgin Trains USA (f/k/a Brightline): partnered with a mobile barbershop to educate groups about rail safety in low-income neighborhoods and homeless communities



  • Gold Award for Safety—Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston Metro): developed a project to improve traffic/rail signaling at intersections within Houston’s Central Business District (CBD) along Metro’s Red Line
  • Certificate of Merit for Safety—Transdev RTA: created an action plan to resolve the top issues contributing to the increase in rail accidents

The 2019 Rail Security Award winners include:


  • Gold Award for Security—Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART): approved a resolution formalizing their commitment to enhance security throughout the DART system
  • Certificate of Merit for Security—Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA): teamed with the Buffalo Fire Department and the NFTA Police to update plans that affected safety and security related to their rail system


  • Gold Award for Security—Sound Transit: adopted the Stop the Bleed campaign, providing its employees and riders with tools to help control blood loss, and promoted it through outreach and education


  • Gold Award for Security—Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA): adopted the six pillars of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Building Trust and Legitimacy; Policy and Oversight; Technology/Social Media; Community Policing and Crime Reduction; Training/Education; and Officer Wellness and Safety.