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Office of System Safety


The Office of System Safety is responsible for guiding the transit industry shift to a Safety Management System (SMS) approach by developing, implementing, and maintaining transit safety policy and rulemaking. Additionally, the office oversees safety data collection.

This office is also responsible for developing and providing technical assistance to transit industry stakeholders.

Candace Key, Director

Candace Key is the Director of the Office of System Safety in the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Transit Safety and Oversight (TSO). As Director, Ms. Key oversees the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of safety policies, regulations, standards, research, training, and technical assistance. In this role, Ms. Key directs the writing of regulations in response to FTA’s new safety authority and leads the development of FTA’s risk-based safety oversight framework based on Safety Management System (SMS) principles and methods, and develops industry SMS training.

Ms. Key also served as an attorney in FTA’s Office of Chief Counsel (TCC) where she was instrumental in implementing the Public Transportation Safety Program and National Transit Asset Management System—drafting rules, assisting in the development of policies, guidance, training, and technical assistance, and providing advice and counsel to FTA’s temporary office of WMATA Safety Oversight.

Ms. Key is a double graduate of Howard University, having received both her Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the Washington D.C. institution. Ms. Key is a member of the Maryland Bar and the Transportation Research Board’s Transit and Intermodal Law Committee.

Updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2020
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