Operational Safety with Denver Transit Operators

A team of TRA personnel, led by Senior Consultant Bill Matthews, recently conducted a review of safety functions at Denver Transit Operators (DTO). DTO provides operations and maintenance of the Denver Regional Transportation District’s commuter rail lines, and has a staff of over 200 employees as well as subcontractors for various support functions.

DTO asked TRA to review current conditions with regard to its safety functions, safety organization, and safety management systems (SMS) planning and implementation. TRA assessed the appropriateness and implementation of DTO safety plans and procedures, as well as other industry best practices such as those of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and regulations from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). TRA’s review team examined DTO policies and procedures and available records off-site, conducted on-site interviews with supervisory employees of different agency business units, inspected maintenance facilities and publicly accessible station areas, and conducted observations of passenger train operations to conduct a macro-level assessment of organizational safety and SMS implementation. The project final report provides an overall review of DTO’s safety performance and planning, and will help the agency assure ongoing safety compliance and improvements.

TRA has provided similar railroad safety reviews to organizations including the Steamtown national historic site, New Jersey Transit’s statewide commuter rail system, and freight rail operations at the ports of Elizabeth, Newark, and Staten Island.




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