Recommendation of a New Transit Performance Measure in the National Transit Database

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, operations - performance, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, ridership - perceptions


Safety, Performance Measure, Service Effectiveness, National Transit Database, Transit System


The frequency of incidents negatively changes public perception with regard to the public safety in transit systems. The level of safety expressed as performance measures, ensures contractors and users that a quality safety level is maintained. Both the private and public sectors in the U.S. annually report accurate data to the National Transit Database (NTD) to be used in assessing the progress of the nation's public transportation systems. Although they must provide both the annual report and monthly reports including Safety and Security data, measures are only grouped into the indicators of efficiency and effectiveness of a system and there is a distinct lack of safety performance measures.

This paper makes a comparison between the safety indicator values in large and small areas, and finds the correlation between system effectiveness and safety measures. Comparison results provide evidence that not every effective system is safe. Finally, three safety indicators are suggested which enables transit agencies to find their system’s weaknesses in terms of safety.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by the Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.