"In July 2000, the U.S. Department of Transportation requested that the State of Minnesota designate an agency to establish safety requirements to comply with the State Safety Oversight Rule, 49 CFR Part 659. This designation was prompted by FTA approval and a grant award for the Hiawatha Corridor Light Rail Line. In October 2000, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety - State Patrol was assigned the duties of State Safety Oversight.
"The State Patrol’s role included hiring and managing a contractor with technical expertise to conduct project oversight, and develop the documents to fulfill the requirements of 49 CFR Part 659. The State Patrol, with contractor support, provided oversight for the design, construction, and revenue service phases of the Metro Blue Line (Hiawatha Line) and the design, construction, and revenue service phases of the Metro Green Line (Central Corridor).
"In 2014, the State Legislature passed Minnesota Statute 299A.017 establishing the Office of State Safety Oversight (OSSO). On February 11, 2015, the OSSO began full time oversight duties with a program manager.
"In 2016, the federal State Safety Oversight final rule took effect which required states to attain certification of their SSO programs. The SSO rule also gives FTA the authority to review and approve each state’s SSO program and take enforcement actions against those states with non-existent or non-compliant safety oversight programs. Minnesota's SSO Program was the second state in the nation to receive FTA certification on October 11, 2017."
(This history is found in the office's 2018 annual report.)