The taskforce on bus safety was formed in December 2000 in response to a call for increased transit safety requirements by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Security issues were added to taskforce responsibilities in the fall of 2001 when it became clear that transportation security would require increased emphasis.

The Federal Transit Administration initiated a bus safety program in response to a 1998 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) special investigation report entitled “Transit Bus Safety Oversight” (PB98-917006, NTSB.SIR-98/03). The document was the result of findings from investigations and a subsequent public hearing in March 1998 concerning high-profile transit bus accidents in the United States. The NTSB report observed that there is a lack of consistency among states regarding oversight of transit bus safety, and there is currently no overall Federal regulatory structure guiding the oversight of transit bus safety. Consequently, NTSB recommended that the U.S. DOT, APTA, CTAA, and AASHTO “develop…a model comprehensive safety program(s) and provide it to all transit agencies.” The goal of the recommendations was to encourage the development of a transit bus safety standard and practices that large bus agencies as well as small transit bus operations could practicably implement.