Safety impacts of platform tram stops on pedestrians in mixed traffic operation: A comparison group before–after crash study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - tram/light rail, infrastructure - stop, planning - safety/accidents, mode - pedestrian


Pedestrian safety, Platform tram stops, Mixed traffic operation, Before–after crash study, Comparison group method


Tram stops in mixed traffic environments present a variety of safety, accessibility and transport efficiency challenges. In Melbourne, Australia the hundred year-old electric tram system is progressively being modernized to improve passenger accessibility. Platform stops, incorporating raised platforms for level entry into low floor trams, are being retro-fitted system-wide to replace older design stops. The aim of this study was to investigate the safety impacts of platform stops over older design stops (i.e. Melbourne safety zone tram stops) on pedestrians in the context of mixed traffic tram operation in Melbourne, using an advanced before–after crash analysis approach, the comparison group (CG) method. The CG method evaluates safety impacts by taking into account the general trends in safety and the unobserved factors at treatment and comparison sites that can alter the outcomes of a simple before–after analysis. The results showed that pedestrian-involved all injury crashes reduced by 43% after platform stop installation. This paper also explores a concern that the conventional CG method might underestimate safety impacts as a result of large differences in passenger stop use between treatment and comparison sites, suggesting differences in crash risk exposure. To adjust for this, a modified analysis explored crash rates (crash counts per 10,000 stop passengers) for each site. The adjusted results suggested greater reductions in pedestrian-involved crashes after platform stop installation: an 81% reduction in pedestrian-involved all injury crashes and 86% reduction in pedestrian-involved FSI crashes, both are significant at the 95% level. Overall, the results suggest that platform stops have considerable safety benefits for pedestrians. Implications for policy and areas for future research are explored.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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