Public transportation remains one of the safer ways to travel today, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely risk-free. According to recent data, the fatality rate for train services is only 0.15 for every billion passenger miles. Buses also have a fairly low level of risk with a 0.11 fatality rate for every billion passenger miles. While these numbers indicate that public transportation is fairly safe, there are always options to improve safety.
Improve Safety from Crime
Although most people think about public transportation safety when it comes to the actual mode of transportation, crime can be a significant concern, especially in some areas. Transportation companies can improve their safety with two key changes: staff or police presence and adequate lighting. Having staff at public transportation terminals makes a significant difference, especially when traveling late at night or in the off-hours. Adequate lighting also improves safety naturally. Crimes are less likely to occur in areas that are well-lit as this decreases the risk of a person committing a crime without being seen.
Improve Safety from Accidents
It’s always easier to prevent an accident than to handle the result of one. The best way to manage public safety is to actively monitor the public transportation areas for safety hazards and provide signage where it’s needed to prevent hazards from happening or alert the public about present hazards which can’t be prevented. For example, in subway systems where there are gaps between the train and the platform, there is an overhead automated announcement reminding passengers of the gap. Public transportation systems should do a thorough assessment of the environment periodically and provide signage or announcements where needed.
Track and Monitor Safety Incidents
Public transportation systems are prone to unique and varied safety problems. The best way to treat them appropriately is to document each safety concern or incident and track them over time. This can help to be proactive when it comes to potential safety problems as well as handle any current problems. When it comes to accidents, many times these documents are needed as well. For example, a bus accident attorney may want to look at the safety records and handling. Public transportation systems should keep detailed records of what safety incidents have occurred and how they were managed as well as the steps that they took to prevent future problems. A good system will ensure that the risk of accidents happening in the future is minimal.
Overall, the good news is, there are ways that safety can be improved. By being mindful of any and all hazards, the risk to passenger safety can be minimized. This will also encourage people to take public transportation when they need to.