Successful Practices and Training Initiatives to Reduce Bus Accidents and Incidents at Transit Agencies: Abridged Version of TCRP Synthesis 126

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, literature review - literature review, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, planning - education


transit safety, safety management


The purpose of this study is to document successful practices and training initiatives that have been effective in reducing transit accidents and incidents. Recognizing that safety does not occur in a vacuum, this study also focuses on other system approaches that have been implemented to address safety hazards. These approaches include various technology applications, infrastructure modifications, and other programs and initiatives, such as driver incentive programs and close call/near miss reporting. The research team conducted a literature review; performed a survey of selected transit agencies; and identified and conducted detailed case studies of 11 public transit agencies, selected from the survey respondents based on their responses to the survey. Effective safety management is comprehensive and multifocused in nature. At the case study agencies, safety management methods are often undertaken concurrently or within a period that does not provide agencies the ability to establish, with certainty, that one method or strategy contributed more to improved safety versus another. Successful programs examined in the case studies have been effective because of multifaceted, coordinated efforts to address transit safety. Strategies such as increased or modified operator training, technology applications, infrastructure modifications, and safety campaigns and promotions were often implemented simultaneously. Thus, judging the relative success of one strategy in reducing transit incidents when multiple strategies were implemented concurrently was difficult. Case study participants agreed that the progress toward a mature safety management system (SMS) framework within their agencies would contribute to an overall reduction in transit safety risks.


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