The majority of fatalities that occur from light rail vehicle (LRV) operations are pedestrians and occupants of automobiles that are struck by the LRVs. This is an ongoing area of concern within the transit safety community. Recent research has been performed to develop a coupler-mounted LRV bumper system design that incorporates an optimized enclosure profile and segmented energy-absorbing corner bumpers. The system is designed to improve the collision compatibility between LRVs and road traffic, and to reduce struck occupant and pedestrian injuries.
The focus of this Transit IDEA project was to adapt the energy absorbing bumper concept to a specific LRV design and to develop a prototype retrofit bumper design that can be used in trial service and testing. The study was performed by a team with Applied Research Associates (ARA) providing the crashworthiness and expertise in collaboration with Siemens providing the vehicle design expertise and with Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) District, which is interested in implementing this concept into their LRV fleet for enhanced safety.