In the fall of 2003, Administrator Jenna Dorn issued a Dear Colleague letter to the 100 transit agencies with the highest ridership levels inviting them to apply for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sponsored training and assistance for implementing Environmental Management Systems (EMSs). Ten agencies were selected to participate in this training, which was conducted by the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. FTA and Virginia Tech structured the program to address the specific environmental requirements of transit agencies with the intention of developing a template for the continued EMS training of similar agencies across America. This effort supports President Bush’s Executive Order 13148 Greening the Government initiative and Executive Order 13274 Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews.
FTA used a number of criteria to select participants, including:
FTA believes that organizational commitment to environmental protection is the most important element of the program. Training teams include both upper management and operational personnel in an effort create support for the effort through all organizational levels. Transit agencies from across the country were selected for training, from medium sized agencies with bus and paratransit services to agencies with large, complex operations including ferry services, heavy rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit. These agencies are faced with a variety of environmental challenges.
Inspecting WMATA’s train washing operation at their Greenbelt, MD facility during their initial environmental audit in January 2004.