Crime and safety in transit environments: a systematic review of the English and the French literature, 1970–2020

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, literature review - literature review, mode - bus, mode - rail, planning - personal safety/crime


Security, Fear of crime, Transit safety, Intersectionality, Whole journey approach, Bibliometric analysis, Vosviewer


This article reviews five decades of English and French literature on transit safety in several major databases, with the focus on Scopus and ScienceDirect. The review explores the nature and frequency of transit crime and passengers’ safety perceptions in transport nodes and along the trip using bibliometric analysis and a systematic review of the literature. The number of retrieved documents was 3137, and 245 were selected for in-depth analysis. Transit safety as a research area took off after the mid-1990s and peaked after the 2010s. The body of research is dominated by the English-language literature (mostly large cities), with a focus on the safety of rail-bound environments and examples of interventions to improve actual and perceived safety for public transportation (PT) users. Highlighting the importance of transit environments along the whole trip, the article also helps advocate for more inclusion of passengers’ safety needs and the involvement of multiple stakeholders in implementing PT policies.


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