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41 9.0% 70 8.0% 60 7.0% Percent of 24-Hour Crashes 50 Number of Collisions 6.0% 5.0% 40 4.0% 30 3.0% 20 2.0% 10 1.0% 0.0% 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Time of Day (24 Hour Clock) Figure 5. Collisions by hour of day (20022007) (excluding SEPTA). Figure 5 shows that the peak period for collisions occurred agencies under its jurisdiction, and to oversee the implementa- between 3:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. The peak period may be tion of these practices and procedures to ensure compliance connected with the end of the school day, and with greater with the regulations specified in the SSO rule. The SSO Rule pedestrian activity in the afternoon. specifies the criteria required to fulfill this mandate in detail. In general, the SSO is required to first develop and distribute to affected transit agencies a system safety program standard SSO Agencies which both outlines the role of the SSO agency and provides In 1991, the FTA received a list of recommendations from the transit agency with guidance on meeting the requirements the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) outlining of the SSO Rule. The SSO agency must then require transit the need for state governments to provide safety oversight to agencies to develop and implement both a system safety pro- rail transit agencies. These recommendations resulted in the gram plan and a system security plan that are in compliance issuing of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency with the SSO Rule and the specific system safety program stan- Act of 1991 (ISTEA), which added Section 28 to the Federal dard developed by the SSO agency. These reports are reviewed Transit Administration Act (codified at 49 U.S.C. 5330). Sec- by the SSO on an annual basis to ensure any subsequent revi- tion 28 required the FTA to issue rule 49 CFR Part 659 (referred sions do not compromise compliance with the above standards. to as the "SSO Rule"), which required state governments to In addition, the SSO agency is responsible for conducting trien- "oversee the safety and security of rail fixed guideway systems nial on-site investigations to assess the implementation of through a designated oversight agency" (4). the system safety and security plans developed by the transit Each state with a fixed rail guideway system was required agency. to create a SSO agency responsible for rail transit safety and In addition to this broad role, the SSO agency is responsible security (9). As of 2006, this program consisted of agencies in for ensuring that incidents meeting specified criteria are inves- 27 states and the District of Columbia responsible for the tigated and documented. The SSO agency must ensure the oversight of 37 local transit agencies. development and implementation of corrective action plans in response to these documented incidents and/or deficiencies identified during the annual reviews or triennial investigations. Purpose of SSO Agency The SSO agency is responsible for submitting an annual report Safety Data Collection to the FTA outlining its activities over the previous twelve The role of the SSO is to establish standards for rail safety and months. The annual report must include, in addition to other security practices and procedures to be utilized by the transit requirements, descriptions of the causal factors for investigated