This section provides an overview of the National Transit Database (NTD) Safety and Security reporting requirements, including the following:

What is the National Transit Database?

This section provides the legislative basis for the NTD reporting system.

Changes in Calendar Year 2009 Reporting

This section summarizes the changes in reporting requirements implemented in calendar year 2008.

Who Reports, What to Report, How to Report, When to Report, and Where to Report

This section provides answers to basic reporting questions.

Reference Information

This section presents key definitions as well as reference resources and publications for further detail on issues related to reporting.

What is the National Transit Database?

The NTD was established by Congress to be the Nation’s primary source for information and statistics on the transit systems of the United States. Recipients or beneficiaries of grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the Urbanized Area Formula Program (§5307) or Other than Urbanized Area (Rural) Formula Program (§5311) are required by statute to submit data to the NTD. Over 660 transit providers in urbanized areas currently report to the NTD through the Internet-based reporting system. Each year, NTD performance data are used to apportion over $5 billion of FTA funds to transit agencies in urbanized areas (UZAs). Annual NTD reports are submitted to Congress summarizing transit service and safety data.

The legislative requirement for the NTD is found in Title 49 U.S.C. 5335(a):

SECTION 5335 National transit database

(a) NATIONAL TRANSIT DATABASE — To help meet the needs of individual public transportation systems, the United States Government, State and local governments, and the public for information on which to base public transportation service planning, the Secretary of Transportation shall maintain a reporting system, using uniform categories to accumulate public transportation financial and operating information and using a uniform system of accounts. The reporting and uniform systems shall contain appropriate information to help any level of government make a public sector investment decision. The Secretary may request and receive appropriate information from any source.

(b) REPORTING AND UNIFORM SYSTEMS — The Secretary may award a grant under section 5307 or 5311 only if the applicant and any person that will receive benefits directly from the grant, are subject to the reporting and uniform systems.

The NTD reporting system evolved from the transit industry initiated Project FARE (Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Elements). Both the private and public sectors have recognized the importance of timely and accurate data in assessing the continued progress of the nation's public transportation systems.

Funding for Agencies Serving Urbanized Areas under 200,000 Population

NTD data are used in the formula allocation of Federal transit funds for the Urbanized Area Formula Program (§5307) and for the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program (§5309, in part). The NTD data are also used in the formula allocations of Federal transit funds. Prior to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), only NTD data for urbanized areas with populations of 200,000 or more were used. With the passage of SAFETEA-LU, NTD data for urbanized areas with populations fewer than 200,000 are also used in the allocation of Federal transit funding.

SAFETEA-LU provides for one-percent of the funds in the Section 5307 to be allocated according to the Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC) formula. Under the formula for STIC, funds are apportioned to UZAs with populations less than 200,000 that meet or exceed the average level of service for all UZAs with populations between 200,000 and 1,000,000. Three of the average level of service measurements in the formula allocation rely on passenger mile data. Because transit agencies in these smaller UZAs also depend on the data reported to the NTD for formula funding, following the 2008 mandatory sampling year for all transit agencies, those transit agencies not required to sample annually will be required to sample every three years. There will no longer be a five-year cycle.

SAFETEA-LU also establishes new Growing States and High Density States formula factors (§5340) to distribute funds to the §5307 and §5311 programs. One-half of the funds are made available under the Growing States factors and are apportioned by a formula based on state population forecasts for 15 years beyond the most recent Census. Amounts apportioned for each state are then distributed between UZAs and nonurbanzied (non-UZAs) areas based on the ratio of UZA / non-UZA population within each State. The High Density States factors distribute the other half of the funds to states with population densities in excess of 370 persons per square mile. These funds are apportioned only to UZAs within those states.
For more information on SAFETEA-LU, contact your regional administrator or go to www.fta.dot.gov.


Reporting Manuals and Modules

To facilitate reporting to the NTD, the National Transit Database (NTD) Reporting Manual is divided into four reporting modules, each comprised of a series of data modules, as described below:

  1. NTD Annual Reporting Manual
  2. NTD Monthly Reporting Manual
  3. NTD Safety and Security Reporting Manual
  4. NTD Rural Reporting Manual (exclusively rural reporters)
    • Rural Module.

Changes in Calendar Year 2009 Reporting

In its ongoing efforts to improve upon the NTD Internet Reporting system and to be responsive to the needs of the transit agencies reporting to NTD and the transit community, FTA continues to refine and clarify reporting requirements and Internet Reporting.

Reporting changes for the 2009 NTD are highlighted below. Specific changes are discussed in detail in the applicable sections of this manual.


Reporting Form Changes

The following exhibit describes changes by reporting module and form.

Exhibit 1 — Calendar Year 2009 Safety and Security Reporting Changes and Highlights

Reportable Incident Report form (S&S-40) One change, One clarification

1.        Age ranges have been revised and Unknown has been added as an option.

2.        Clarification to reporting incidents involving revenue versus non-revenue vehicles.

Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50):– One change:

1.        The Victim Type category heading has been renamed Involved Parties.

Who Reports, What, How, When and Where to Report

Who Reports

Transit providers, States, or Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) that receive Urbanized Area Formula Program (§5307) grants, or that directly benefit from these grants, must report to the NTD or coordinate the submittal of data to the NTD on their behalf. The requirement to report begins in the year after you apply for a §5307 Grant, or in the year in which benefits are first received from a §5307 grant, whichever is sooner. The reporting requirement lasts for as long as the §5307 remains open, or through the minimum useful life of any capital assets purchased with §5307 grant funds, whichever is later.

Please note that this means that you may be required to report in the year in which no §5307 grant funds were received. An NTD reporter that is no longer required to report to the NTD, should continue to file NTD reports if that reporter intends to apply for a §5307 or a §5311 grant in the future.

Recipients or direct beneficiaries from Other than Urbanized Area Program (§5311) grants are also required to report to the NTD, under the streamlined Rural NTD reporting requirements. Please consult the Rural NTD Reporting Manual for more information on these requirements.

A complete understanding of who must submit an NTD report requires an understanding of the following:

Purchased Transportation Services

The NTD operates under a "you buy it, you report it" rule. Thus, sellers of purchased transportation (PT) services are generally not required to report to the NTD - data for the service are generally reported by the agency purchasing the service (buyer).

The NTD generally does not recognize agreements or memorandums of understanding between two public agencies as "purchased transportation services." In these cases, the two public agencies should agree which of them will report the service to the NTD, and report the service as directly operated (DO).

Please see Contractual Relationship form (B-30) in the Basic Information Module for further discussion on reporting PT services.

Consolidated NTD Reporters

Consolidated NTD reporters are a collection of transit agencies filing one report. One reporter may file a consolidated report on behalf of other reporters if it is easier to collect and control the quality of the data. This often occurs when one transit agency coordinates the development and funding of public transportation services in an area. Transit agencies filing a consolidated report must operate within the same UZA.

Transit agencies that wish to file a consolidated report must submit a request to FTA in writing. Such requests for consolidations are subject to FTA approval and must include the following:

Consolidation requests are subject to review and approval by FTA and are not granted automatically. FTA will notify you, in writing, via the e-File tab, if your request is approved.

Voluntary Reporters

FTA encourages all providers of transit service in urbanized areas to report to the NTD, regardless of whether they are public or private, and regardless of whether or not they receive or benefit from §5307 grants. To be accepted as a voluntary reporter in the NTD, you must be a provider of transit services in at least one urbanized area (UZA), and be able to comply with all of the NTD reporting requirements and the Uniform System of Accounts (USOA.) All urbanized area NTD reporters are required to comply with all NTD requirements for the Annual, Monthly, and Safety & Security Modules. Please refer to the Monthly Reporting Manual and the Safety & Security Reporting Manual for information on the reporting requirements of those modules.

What to Report

The NTD safety and security report consists of a series of forms that provide a summary of transit-related safety and security incidents for the calendar year. For purchased transportation (PT) service, the report must contain data only for those services under contract. Transit agencies with an approved Nine or Fewer Vehicles Waiver are not required to complete Safety and Security forms. The following exhibit presents a summary of NTD safety and security reporting requirements.

Exhibit 2 — Summary of NTD Safety and Security Reporting Requirements

Requirement who Reports        

NTD Safety and Security Report

Safety and Security Setup form (S&S-10)                                                                               All reporters

Chief Executive Officer Certification form (S&S-20)                                                                All reporters

Security Configuration form (S&S-30)                                                                                      All reporters

Reportable Incident Report form(S&S-40)                                                                                All reporters

Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50) (safety elements)                   All reporters except commuter rail (CR)

Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50) (security elements)                All reporters

For commuter rail (CR) service, only security information is reported, since safety incidents relating to CR service are already reported to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Transit agencies that serve only UZAs with populations less than 200,000 are now required to complete the Security Configuration form (S&S-30), the security portion of the Reportable Incident Report form (S&S-40) and the Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50).


A Safety and Security Chief Executive Officer Certification form (S&S-20) is required to be submitted by the chief executive officer by February 28 of each calendar year for the prior year's data (February 28, 2009 for calendar year 2008, or February 28, 2010 for calendar year 2009, etc.). The CEO certification certifies and attests to the accuracy of the safety and security data submitted to the NTD.

Calender Year Data

Unlike the NTD Annual and Rural reports, which cover 12-month fiscal year periods, the data in the NTD Safety and Security report covers a 12-month period corresponding to the calendar year.

How to Report

This section describes the following:

Internet Reporting

Required forms, waivers and declarations are completed using Internet Reporting which is accessible from the NTD website at http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ Completing the Safety and Security Setup form (S&S-10) and the Security Configuration form (S&S-30) at the beginning of the calendar year automatically generates the required Safety and Security links and forms for your transit agency.

This manual contains all information necessary to complete the NTD safety and security report using Internet Reporting. See the Internet Reporting section of this manual for specifics. FTA will provide Internet Reporting user names and passwords to transit agencies.

Reporting Purchased Transportation(PT)

Purchased transportation service is service provided to a public transit agency or governmental unit from a public or private transportation provider based on a written contract. A contractual relationship exists only if all the following criteria are met:

Granting a transportation provider permission to operate certain services through a franchise or license does not, in itself, constitute PT. Also, management services contracts, in which all or some personnel or services are provided to manage or operate the transit agency, are not PT. Generally, the service is part of the public transit agency's DO service.

Cooperative agreements between public transit agencies or governmental units should not be reported as PT services.

When to Report

Reporting deadlines are implemented for the following:

When to Submit the NTD Safety and Security Report

Transit agencies must submit safety and security data within 30 days of a reportable incident using the Reportable Incident Report form (S&S-40), or monthly, when completing the Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50) by clicking on the File New Report link.
The following exhibit presents the timeline for submitting Safety and Security data to the NTD.

Exhibit 3 — NTD Safety and Security Reporting Timeline

Reportable Incident Reporting

Reportable incidents should be filed no later then 30 days after the date of the incident.

Safety and Security Monthly Summary Incident Reporting

Month                                    Due Date                                        Month                                        Due Date

January                                   February 27                                    July                                              August 31

February                                 March 31                                         August                                        September 30

March                                      April 30                                            September                                   October 30

April                                         May 29                                            October                                       November 30

May                                         June 30                                           November                                    December 31

June                                        July 31                                             December                                    January 29 of following year

When to Submit the Chief Executive Officer Certification

Each transit agency is required to submit a Safety and Security Chief Executive Officer Certification form (S&S-20) each calendar year for its Safety and Security report. The certification is a form, approved by the transit agency’s CEO, that certifies and attests to the accuracy of the Safety and Security data submitted for the current calendar year’s reports. Safety and security data are not subject to the independent auditor review; however, the Chief Executive Officer Certification form (S&S-20) is required by February 28, of each calendar year.

Reporting Format

Required forms and declarations are completed using Internet Reporting, which is accessible from the NTD website at www.ntdprogram.gov/. Completing the Safety and Security Setup form (S&S-10) using Internet Reporting automatically generates the forms necessary for filing your NTD Safety and Security report.
This manual contains all information necessary to complete the NTD Safety and Security report using Internet Reporting. See the Internet Reporting section of this manual. FTA will provide Internet Reporting user names and passwords to transit agencies.

Reporting Frequency

All transit agency Safety and Security Reportable Incident Report forms (S&S-40) must be submitted within thirty days of the incident. Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (S&S-50) must be submitted monthly. The deadline for submitting Safety and Security data for calendar year 2008 is January 31. The Safety and Security database closes on February 28, 2009. For revision after this date, contact your NTD Safety and Security analyst.

Exhibit 4 — Reporting Thresholds for Safety and Security Incidents

Reportable Incident Report (Safety or Security) form (S&S-40)

Existence of one or more of the following conditions:

·      A fatality due to an incident – includes suicides, but does not include deaths by natural causes, or deaths not associated with an incident, and / or

·      Injuries requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene for one or more persons (excluding Other Safety Occurrences not Otherwise Classified), and / or

·      Property damage equal to or exceeding $25,000, and/or

·      An evacuation due to life safety reasons.

Incidents include:

·      A collision

·      A mainline derailment (not involving a collision)

·      A fire

·      A hazardous material spill

·      Acts of God

·      Security events:

·       Terrorism related events:

·      Bomb threat

·      Bombing

·      Chemical / biological / radiological / nuclear release

·       Other system security events:

·      Arson

·      Sabotage

·      Hijacking

·      Cyber security event

·       Other personal events

·      Aggravated assault

·      Rape

·      Suicide

·      Attempted suicide

·      Vandalism

·      Robbery

·      Burglary

·      Motor vehicle theft

·      Larceny / theft

·      Homicide

Safety and Security Monthly Summary Report form (Security) (S&S-50)

Occurrences and / or arrests / citations that do not meet the requirements of Reportable Incidents:

Occurrences of:

·      Fires

·      Robbery (confrontational theft)

·      Larceny (non-confrontational theft)

·      Burglary

·      Motor vehicle theft

·      Other Safety Occurrences not Otherwise Classified (injuries)

Arrest / Citation for:

·      Other (non-aggravated) assaults

·      Fare Evasion

·      Trespassing

·      Vandalism

·      Non-violent civil disturbance


Reportable Incident

A reportable incident must be related to the operation of revenue service and not associated with unrelated tasks. The following types of incidents are not reportable to the NTD:

  1. Mechanical
  2. Industrial, or
  3. Administrative work orders.

Failure to Report, Late Reports or Incomplete Reports

NTD requires transit agencies to submit complete reports according to the due date schedule. Failure to report results by not submitting a report, submitting a late report or submitting an incomplete report and may result in your transit agency's data not being included in the NTD. Furthermore, FTA may declare your transit agency ineligible to receive any Urbanized Area Formula Program funds during an entire Federal fiscal year. This ineligibility applies to all transit agencies, regardless of the size of the urbanized area (UZA) served.

A report is considered late if it is not submitted by the due date.

A report is incomplete if it does not contain all the required reporting forms and data or is not in conformance with the NTD requirements.

Where to Report

Transit agencies submit NTD reports and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) certification via Internet Reporting at www.ntdprogram.gov.

FTA assigns an NTD analyst to each transit agency to assist reporters with their Safety and Security report throughout the year. Please feel free to contact your NTD analyst if there are any questions, or if FTA can do anything to assist you in reporting Safety and Security data.

Exhibit 5- NTD Contact Information

Mailing Address

You can write to the FTA NTD Project Office at the following address:

Federal Transit Administration
National Transit Database
P.O.Box 10967
Rockville, MD 20849

Please use the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries to this P.O. Box.


Your NTD analyst and other NTD staff can be contacted by telephone on weekdays. For telephone information and assistance, call the FTA NTD Project Office at:


The FTA NTD Project Office Help Desk is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Eastern Time). If your NTD analyst is unavailable, you may use the voice-mail system and your call will be returned, or you may forward your call to another NTD analyst.

Express Delivery Address

Express deliveries can be made to the following address:

Federal Transit Administration
National Transit Database
1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 425

Rockville, MD 20850


You can contact your NTD analyst by using the e-mail address located on the Transit Agency Home tab at:


Or contact your NTD analyst for individual e-mail addresses.


The FTA NTD Project Office also maintains a 24-hour FAX service. You may FAX correspondence to the FTA NTD Project Office at:


An original of all faxed documents must also be mailed to the FTA NTD Project Office.


Finally, the FTA NTD Project Office manages a website at the following address:


NTD publications and reference documents are available on the FTA NTD website.

Reference Information

This section contains two items necessary to understanding NTD reporting:

Transit Terminology and Parameters

Reporting data for the NTD requires an understanding of the following transit concepts and terms:

Each of these terms is described in further detail in the sections that follow.

Public Transportation

The NTD is established by law as a repository of information on public transportation. The term public transportation is synonymous with the terms transit and mass transportation and is defined by law at 49 U.S.C. 5302(a) (10).

(10) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. - The term "public transportation" means transportation by a conveyance that provides regular and continuing general or special transportation to the public, but does not include schoolbus, charter, or intercity bus transportation or intercity passenger rail transportation provided by the entity described in chapter 243 (or a successor to such entity).

Transit includes special transportation, such as complimentary paratransit required by the ADA. Transit also includes other shared-ride demand response services, including both sponsored and unsponsored trips.

Transit excludes schoolbus service. At the time of this writing, FTA has invited public comment on a revised definition of schoolbus service in the Federal Register. The NTD will adopt the new definition of schoolbus service, if and when it is finalized.

Transit excludes charter service. In accordance with FTA's Charter Rule, any service reported to FTA's charter registration website must not be treated as public transportation in NTD reports.

Transit excludes sightseeing service. Sightseeing service is provided primarily for the enjoyment of sights and sounds during the ride, or for enjoyment of the ride itself. Sightseeing service includes services that have narration and services where passengers primarily make round-trips without disembarking the vehicle.

Transit excludes Intercity service. The NTD defines an intercity service as service where a majority of passengers are not making a same-day return trip. Thus, for public transportation, a majority of passengers across the totality of the service (i.e. all runs on all days of the week) must make a same-day return trip. On public transportation, a majority of passengers use the service three or more times a week.

Transit excludes Amtrak (the entity described in chapter 243.) NTD reporters must demonstrate that they are organizationally separate from Amtrak. This exclusion does not apply to cases where Amtrak is the supplier of purchased transportation for commuter rail service. 


A variety of transit modes are operated in the United States. The NTD reporting system groups transit modes into two broad categories - rail and non-rail - as follows:




Alaska railroad (AR)

Automated guideway (AG)

Cable car (CC)

Commuter rail (CR)

Heavy rail (HR)

Inclined plane (IP)

Light rail (LR)

Monorail (MO)

Aerial tramway (TR)

Bus (MB)

Demand response (DR)

Ferryboat (FB)

Jitney (JT)

Publico (PB)

Trolleybus (TB)

Vanpool (VP)

Other (OR)

Type of Service (TOS)

Public transportation can be provided in two ways:

1.       Directly operated (DO) service, in which the NTD reporting agency, usually the public transit agency, uses its own employees to operate the transit vehicles and provide the transit service.

2.       Purchased transportation (PT) in which the NTD reporting agency, usually the public transit agency, contracts with a public or private provider to operate the transit vehicles, employs the operators, and provide the transit service.

Type of service (TOS) is an important element of NTD reporting. On most reporting forms, transit agencies are required to report data by type of service (TOS).

Transit Agency

A transit agency is responsible for the provision of public transportation service. The transit agency can provide the service using its own employees to operate the vehicles (DO service) or contract with a public or private provider to operate the transit vehicles and employ the vehicle operators (PT service). With some exceptions, transit agencies typically are public bodies and generally are the NTD reporting agencies for their DO and PT services.

Reference Documents

The FTA Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) and Final Rule (49 CFR Part 630) are essential to understanding the forms and instructions presented in this manual. You can obtain these documents, as well as the other reference documents listed in the NTD Reference Documents exhibit below, by visiting the NTD Project website at www.ntdprogram.gov or calling the NTD Project Office at 866-349-1427


Exhibit 6 — Reference Documents

The Reference document listed below are available from for downloading or viewing from the NTD website:
Current Reporting Manuals

  • Annual
  • Safety and Security
  • Monthly
  • Rural

NTD Final Rule (49 CFR Part 630)

Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook

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