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CPUC Pipeline Safety Frequently Asked Questions Oct. 8, 2010 - page 5 / 6





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inward-facing camera requirement for rail transit (BART, SF Muni light rail, Sacramento Rapid Transit District light rail, L.A. Metro) systems.

  • Previous: Ban railroad crews from using personal electronic devices (PED) such as cell phones. Six days after the Chatsworth collision, the CPUC issued an emergency order implementing a ban on PED use by employees on railroads and rail transit systems in California. A few weeks later the FRA issued its own emergency order banning such use on railroads, replacing the CPUC’s action regarding railroads. Regarding rail transit systems, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has no power to make such an order or regulation. The CPUC currently has a formal proceeding open to adopt a permanent ban in a General Order for rail transit systems.

  • Previous: Positive Train Control technology should be installed that will prevent red signal violations and other collision scenarios on railroads. Again, the FRA has primary jurisdiction, although the CPUC has an open proceeding of its own to examine any state role needed.

Following a February 1, 2001, fatality on Angels Flight, an historic funicular railway in Los Angeles, the NTSB issued the following recommendations to the CPUC:

  • Verify that the drive system meets accepted industry standards engineering practices. The CPUC required and verified this before operation was allowed to resume. Operations resumed March 2010.

  • Require emergency stopping capabilities in all foreseeable failure modes. The CPUC required Angels Flight to rebuild its system with this new capability before resuming operations in 2010.

  • Provide end-gates to contain passengers in the event of a collision. The CPUC required such installation before Angels Flight resumed operations.

  • Provide emergency egress and ingress for passengers and emergency responders according to ANSI standards for funiculars. The CPUC, in conjunction with the L.A. Fire Department, determined such standards were met, although there is a continuing dialogue with the NTSB on this issue.

Following an April 26, 1997, San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (MUNI) light rail vehicle collision with a handicapped loading platform, the NTSB recommended:

  • That the CPUC, along with MUNI and an independent safety auditing organization, conduct a comprehensive safety review of the MUNI operations and infrastructure. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) and CPUC conducted a joint audit of MUNI in February 1998.

On July 31, 1991, in response to the increasing number and severity of accidents on the nation’s rail transit systems, the NTSB made safety recommendations to all States in which such systems operated. The NTSB asked that the Governor of California:

  • Develop or revise, as needed, existing programs to provide for continual and effective oversight of rail transit safety. In response, and in accordance with the FTA’s final rule on guidelines for state safety oversight (SSO) of fixed guideway systems, the Governor designated the CPUC as California’s SSO organization under the new federal guidelines. While the FTA does not have authority to directly regulate the rail transit systems, it works through the states with requirements such as for System Safety Program Plans and


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