Improving Safety Culture in Public Transportation

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, organisation - management, organisation - performance


Safety culture, Transit agencies, public transport


Building a positive safety culture within an organization is considered critical to safety performance, yet defining safety culture has been somewhat elusive. There are many definitions for the concept of safety culture and numerous components to what is described as a multifaceted phenomenon, with scores of contributing components. This report presents considerable research on the definition and elements that make up and influence safety culture within public transportation and in other industries. The research included a review of available literature, stakeholder interviews, surveys of transit industry leaders and experts, interviews on safety culture with leaders in other industries, and case studies. Drawing on the successes of organizations both within and outside the transit industry, the report presents specific strategies for improving safety culture and guidelines for public transportation agencies. Improving safety culture is a goal that requires a long-term, organization-wide commitment. TCRP Report 174 is a useful resource for pursuing and meeting this goal.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.