New TSA training rule affects bus companies

By: Daren Hansen

Publication: Transportation Regulatory Alert

Date Posted: 04/16/2020

New rule requiring training for security-sensitive employees at OTRBcompanies

Certain bus and motorcoach operators will soon need to conduct security training if they travel into Los Angeles, New York, or eight other major metro areas.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a new rule requiring training for security-sensitive employees at over-the-road bus (OTRB) companies operating on fixed routes. The goal is to both prevent terrorist attacks and prepare bus operators should an attack occur.

An over-the-road bus is defined as a bus with an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment. TSA expects the rule to apply to about 205 bus companies. It also applies to freight and passenger rail and public transportation agencies.

10 metro areas are key

Under the new rule, each OTRB owner/operator must designate a “security coordinator” and provide security training if it provides fixed-route service to, through, or from any of these 10 areas (as described in detail in 49 CFR Part 1584, Appendix A):

The new rule applies to all persons engaged in “security-sensitive job functions” as identified in Appendix B to Part 1584. It responds to a 2007 law requiring TSA to enhance surface transportation security through training of frontline employees.

The rule takes effect on June 22, 2020.

TSA security-sensitive job functions metro areas

Tell the TSA by July 22 if it applies

If you have an OTRB operation, your first obligation is to notify the TSA if the rule applies to you. This will be required by July 22, 2020 (30 days after the effective date).

After that, you’ll have a week to let TSA know who your security coordinator (and alternate) is, and then submit your training program for approval.

The following is the official compliance timeline. Refer to 49 CFR Part 1584 for details.




Notify TSA that the rule applies to you


July 22, 2020

Provide security coordinator information to TSA


July 29, 2020

Submit security training program to TSA for approval


Sept. 20, 2020 (90 days from effective date)

TSA approval of your program


60 calendar days from receipt

Initial training of security-sensitive employees


One year from TSA approval

Recurrent training of security-sensitive employees


Within three years of initial training and every three years thereafter

Report any potential threats and security concerns to TSA


Within 24 hours

Key to remember: A new TSA rule requires all over-the-road bus companies operating on fixed routes in or through any of 10 major metro areas to train their personnel on terrorism prevention and response.

About the author
Daren Hansen - Transportation Safety Editor

Based on his expertise in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Daren is responsible for writing and editing content for safety-related products, publications, and services for the trucking industry.

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