Policy and Guidance

Safety Management System (SMS) Implementation Planning

By: Jim Caton & Andrew Lofton

The first steps to successfully beginning any project are assessing the present situation and making a plan. For large transit agencies, implementing a new SMS or evolving their existing system may be a big task. bcg’s SMS experts can comfortably navigate through the process of planning SMS implementation for agencies, and our experience accurately represents our skill in this area.


bcg realizes the complexity and care that has to go into SMS implementation planning and our team excels at providing agencies with the assistance they may need during this process.

Some of the resources we can develop include,

  • Gantt charts
  • Self-assessments and web-based self-assessment tools
  • Implementation planning guides
  • Custom gap analysis checklists

Our Experience

bcg, in coordination with the Federal Transit Administration, has worked directly with agencies through the Assessment Phase of their SMS implementation. During this process, bcg has collected and processed agencies’ SMS-related documentation and evaluated the current state of their systems. Following the initial assessment of policies, procedures, and existing safety plans, we have developed SMS Gap Analysis Reports, Gap Results Summaries, and drafted various documents and resources to further accelerate the process.

Our support and involvement through SMS implementation planning is ongoing. We continue to support FTA in monitoring agencies through the SMS implementation process. bcg offers assistance by conducting follow-up visits to transit agencies on-site and by facilitating briefings between executive leadership, SMS teams, safety departments, and others. We provide key resources and wisdom to agencies through every step of SMS implementation.

Results or Conclusion

Without adequate preparation, making policies and procedures meet SMS standards and requirements can be a challenge. bcg’s detailed review and planning process allows for an expedited SMS implementation process. At bcg, we prioritize increasing and sustaining safety within the transit industry.