Future of SSO
The community of states and rail transit agencies covered by FTA Rule 49 CFR Part 659 has grown considerably in the past few years. When FTA issued its final rule in 1995, there were five designated SSO agencies overseeing the operations of 12 RTAs. In 1997, 19 SSO agencies were established to oversee 36 RTAs. In 2006, there were 26 SSO agencies overseeing 44 RTAs. Continued progress in building rail transit systems has increased the total number of covered rail transit agencies to 48 nationwide, located in 28 states. It is estimated that in recent years, these RTAs provided over 4 billion annual passenger trips. Recent FTA New Start projects and on-going streetcar projects continue to increase the number of covered rail transit agencies nationwide.