The impact of rail-based stations on passengers’ safety perceptions. A systematic review of international evidence

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, literature review - literature review, mode - rail, planning - personal safety/crime, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, land use - impacts


Perceived safety, Station environment, Fear, Crime, Public transport, Systematic review


Feeling safe in public transport is essential for mobility, and fear of crime can be a larger problem for the individual than crime itself. The aim of the present paper is to systematically review the international evidence in rail-bound environments regarding (a) characteristics impacting safety perceptions and (b) behavioural consequences of unsafety, using the databases ScienceDirect, Scopus, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar. From a selection of 3226 publications, 52 were selected. The sample sizes range from 16 to 137 513 rail users or potential users. A social-ecological framework was adopted to categorize the findings in which place, social, individual, and temporal characteristics were identified along with short-term and long-term behavioural consequences of unsafety. Among the most important characteristics affecting passengers’ safety are lighting, surveillance, other persons’ behaviour, time of day, and one’s own gender. Future studies should further explore the complexity in interactions between characteristics connected to perceived safety.


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


Transportation Research Part F Home Page: