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How Safe is Transit?

This category is the place to go to if you would like statistics on transit safety and security. Included are articles about how to improve transit safety, and reports on major transit accidents over the past few years.

Five Ways to Improve Transit Passenger Security
This article describes five ways that transit systems can improve passenger security: install security cameras, improve lighting at stops and stations, initiate a request stop program, make real time schedule information available on phones, and employ CPTED (crime prevention through environmental design) principles.

How Safe Is Transit?
This article assesses the safety of transit, and concludes it is much safer to take transit than it is to drive or ride a bicycle despite the high profile transit fatalities that occurred as a result of the London terrorist bombings in 2005 and the Metrolink commuter train crash in Los Angeles in 2008. It ends by describing new safety...

How Safe Do Young People Feel on Transit?
This article reviews an article published in the Journal of Public Transportation assessing how safe young people in Melbourne, Australia feel about using public transportation.

Why Don't Buses Have Seatbelts?
This article examines why buses are not required to have seatbelts and concludes that it is for two main reasons - cost and the fact that adding seatbelts is unlikely to make travel by bus, already the safest mode of travel, even safer.

Improvements in Passenger Rail Safety
This article describes safety improvements implemented or planned since the Los Angles Metrolink Commuter Train crash in September 2008.

Positive Train Control
This article described what positive train control is, why we need positive train control, and what is taking so long for us to get it.

Pedestrian Safety and Transit
This article describes four ways that transit systems can make their networks safer for pedestrians and also discusses how transit systems can work with local planning departments to lessen the impact other pedestrian safety improvements have on transit systems.

Chatsworth, CA Metrolink Crash
An article describing one of the deadliest crashes in transit history, the September 2008 crash of a commuter train in suburban Los Angeles that killed eighteen people.

Federal Transit Administration Safety and Security Program
Homepage of the FTA's Safety and Security Program.

FTA 2007 Safety and Security Statistics
This site has ten years of statistics about different types of injuries on different modes of transit. 2007 seems to be the latest year available.

TCRP Synthesis 80: Transit Security Update
TCRP (Transit Cooperative Research Program) Syntheses provide summaries of current industry practice in specific areas. In this one, different transit agencies describe what they are doing to keep their system safe.

Terrorism, Transit, and Public Safety: Evaluating The Risks
In this article, Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy institute assesses the safety of transit, both absolutely and in comparison with other modes of transport. He finds that transit is very safe, and much safer than driving. Interestingly, the migration of London Underground passengers from the tube to other commute modes such as biking ended up causing more deaths than the terrorists did in the horrible bombings of July 7, 2005.

Do People Who Ride Public Transit Get Sick More?
This article examines if people who ride public transit get sick more than other people, and concludes that there is insufficient evidence to answer this question.

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