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Transit Safety Data by Mode for All Reported Incidents

Dataset Excel: 

Data are provided only for transit systems that furnished safety data for inclusion in the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration Transit Safety and Security Statistics and Analysis annual reports. Data covers only directly operated urban transit systems. Vehicle-miles for all transit systems including nonurban and purchased can be found in the vehicle-miles table in chapter 1.

Excludes event data reported for all Commuter Rail (CR) and Alaska Railroad (AR) modes, the Heavy Rail (HR) service reported for Port Authority Trans Hudson (NTD ID: 20098), Hybrid Rail (YR) service for the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (NTD ID: 00008), and Hybrid Rail (YR) service for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NTD ID: 60048) are excluded from this analysis because these modes and operators are only required to report security data to the NTD, while their safety data reporting is strictly voluntary.

Prior to the 2000 edition, Transit Safety and Security Statistics and Analysis Report was entitled Safety Management Information Statistics (SAMIS) annual report.

Analysts for the FTA believe the change in reporting requirements in 2002 may have resulted in unreliable data in that year, particularly for Injuries and Incidents. The reliability of reporting is believed to be much better in 2003 and is expected to improve in the future.


Key:  R = revised; P = preliminary.

a  The figures for cable car, inclined plane, jitney, aerial tramway, and ferry boat are lumped together and appear in this footnote. Note that the 2003 data include 11 fatalities and 70 injuries that resulted from the Oct. 16, 2003 Staten Island Ferry incident. 

Other Modes199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019

bIncidents include non-major (Single-injury slips/falls, fire that do not meet major thresholds) or major (Fatality, injury (requiring transport), property damage of $25,000 or more, evacuation due to or to a potentially hazardous situation, all derailments, collision involving a roadway transit revenue vehicle where any (including private) vehicle is towed away, rail transit vehicle collision at a rail grade crossing, rail transit vehicle collision with an individual, collision between a rail transit vehicle and a second rail transit vehicle or rail transit non-revenue vehicle) event occurring on transit right-of-way, in a transit revenue facility, in a transit maintenance facility, or involving a transit revenue vehicle that meets at least one of the NTD reporting thresholds (note: Some thresholds have changed through the years.).

cMotor bus also includes trolley bus.

d Light rail includes streetcar rail and hybrid rail. 

eAutomated guideway includes monorail/guideway and monorail.

f The number of Unlinked passenger trips is equivalent to the number of passengers who board public transit vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board a vehicle regardless of how many vehicles are necessary for a passenger to get to their destination.

gRates are based on total incidents including accidents and were calculated by dividing the number of fatalities, injuries, and incidents in this table by the number of unlinked passenger trips.

h In 2002 the drop in the number of Incidents and Injuries is due largely to a change in definitions by the Federal Transit Administration, particularly the definition of Injuries. Only Injuries requiring immediate medical treatment away from the scene now qualify as reportable.  Previously, any Injury was reportable.


1990-2001: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, 2004 Transit Safety and Security Statistics and Analysis Report (Cambridge, MA: 2005).

2002-19: Ibid, National Transit Database, Safety and Security Time Series Data (Washington, DC: Monthly Issue), available at as of May 15, 2020.