The extent of System Assurance (SA) program complexity changes from one transit project to another, considering the fact that the levels and the types of regulation of safety and security requirements for public transit systems varies significantly in different jurisdictions, states, and countries, depending on the public’s perception of the acceptable (tolerable) risks in using a technology. This paper discusses some of the key SA challenges in new urban rail transit systems being built in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, specifically in terms of the system safety and security assurance compliance with European and American standards, and also explains steps and approaches to help circumvent unnecessary burdens that would negatively impact the cost, the schedule and the effectiveness of the system safety and security assurance programs. A key step in streamlining the SA program in leniently regulated environments, that transit safety and security authorities primarily focus on establishing a “process”, without defining “measurable goals”, is early engagement of the SA program developers with the stakeholders to reach agreement on what constitutes a safe-enough and secure-enough public transit system for passenger service, at the beginning of project, perhaps prior or during the conceptual design phase.

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