CTA Announces its Support of the National Roadway Safety Strategy

April 21, 2023

Agency announces its support of NRSS through advancement in the areas of Safe People, Safe Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds and Post-Crash Care.   

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced its support for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), which is a comprehensive approach to reversing the rise in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the nation’s highways roads and streets.    

The CTA joins in the NRSS Call to Action today, which invites organizations and individuals to participate by sharing how they will actively reduce deaths and injuries on America’s roadways, expand adoption of the NRSS’s 5-pronged Safe System approach and a zero fatalities vision, and transform how we as a nation think about road safety.  

“The NRSS is perfectly aligned with CTA’s core values of safety and continuous improvement.”  said Nancy-Ellen Zusman, Chief Safety and Security Officer, “The strategies that CTA has identified under the NRSS demonstrate diverse approaches to enhancing safety throughout its service, and with local partners like the City of Chicago, with a particular emphasis on roadway safety and buses.” 

Specifically, CTA has committed to support the program through the following initiatives:  

Expansion of the Bus Pedestrian Detection System, which CTA’s newest model buses feature to help prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.  

Interagency Coordination on Right-of-Way Design, where CTA will continue to work with key stakeholders, including the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), to perform outreach and implement strategies to enhance the safety of streets, sidewalks, and signal systems that are used by CTA buses.  CTA is working closely with CDOT on a variety of projects, including the development of the “Better Streets for Buses” Plan, which will be the City’s first framework plan to improve street infrastructure for public bus service, and lay the groundwork for ongoing bus infrastructure improvements by establishing a network of corridors to prioritize, and a toolbox of street treatments to consider as solutions.  

Safety Risk Analysis, a process in which dedicated CTA personnel (1) determine mitigations to reduce risks to an acceptable level if they are found to be unacceptable or undesirable, and (2) identify any new hazards that may arise from implementing a proposed modification. CTA would then work to address any hazards as applicable. This process is part of a larger program known as the safety management system (SMS), a top-down, organization-wide approach to managing safety risk and assuring the effectiveness of safety risk controls. 

Tactile Bus Stop Signage as part of ongoing efforts to make public transportation easier to navigate for people with disabilities, CTA began a pilot program in August 2022 to install more than 1,300 tactile signs across 12 bus routes, which are designed to make the boarding locations for bus stops easier to identify for riders who are blind or low vision. The signs feature the words “BUS STOP” in Braille and raised type face. Earlier this year, CTA announced an expansion of the program to have signs added along two more bus routes.  

Equitable Transit-Oriented Development the CTA, City of Chicago, and other local government agencies to advance equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD) policies that will create safer walking and biking neighborhoods and housing near busy bus lines and rail stations, providing residents with easy and safe access to transit facilities. Currently, an eTOD working group of over 40 community members and stakeholders meets quarterly to advise the City’s progress toward implementing its eTOD goals. 

More information on the NRSS and voluntary commitments from early adopters can be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/NRSS 


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