The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SA-45 [Active (Synthesis)]

Current Practices In The Use of Onboard Technologies to Prevent Transit Bus Incidents and Accidents
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/4/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: CUTR
Principal Investigator: Lisa Staes
Effective Date: 9/21/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018

 Final Scope

 In 2016 there were 4,578 collisions, 16,920 injuries, 105 fatalities, and $701,113,017 in casualty and liability expenses involving transit buses. To improve safety, transit agencies have implemented onboard technologies to provide additional information to their operators and to mitigate collisions through automated responses.  Technologies used to reduce accidents include but are not limited to :

·       forward collision warning [FCW],

·        mitigation or automated emergency braking,

·       lane departure warning [LDW],

·       electronic stability control [ESC],

·       pedestrian and  other vulnerable road user detection.


This TCRP synthesis will document the current practice and usage of the various onboard technologies used in transit buses. The main objective is to identify the technologies used, and whether these technologies are effective in actual practice.  Information gathered will include:

·       reasons for and barriers to implementing technologies,

·       the process of testing, evaluation and deployment,

·       strategies for installation, implementation and operation,

·       results of deployment (such as costs or cost savings, effectiveness, etc.),

·       pros/cons of competing technologies,

·       human factors including training and employee acceptance,

·       other experiences with the specific technologies.


The practical delivery from this synthesis will be information that can assist transit organizations make an informed decision about which technologies to consider in their operations.


Information will be gathered by:

·       a literature review (e.g. agency reports, peer reviewed journal articles, web articles),

·       a survey on a broad range of North American transit agencies (diverse in terms of geography, socioeconomics, size, and all types of vehicles in transit revenue service), and

·       a minimum of 5 case examples that will gather information on the state-of-the-practice, emphasizing lessons learned, challenges and successes. In preparing case examples, consultant should consider vehicle and utilization types.

·       The needs for future research should also be discussed.


Information Sources:

-American Public Transit Association (APTA) Organization,

-Transportation Research Information System (TRIS),

-FTA research publication,

-Traffic safety research literature (e.g. Accident Analysis & Prevention),

-Industrial safety management literature (e.g., Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, Professional Safety, Occupational Health & Safety),

-Applied behavioral science literature (e.g., Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Applied Psychology), and

-Web pages of technology vendors.

http://www.lytx.com/our-solutions/drivecam-programs Accessed January 28, 2016.

http://www.lytx.com/our-markets/fleet/case-study-san-francisco-municipal-transportation-agency  Accessed January 28, 2016.

Florida Transit Safety Network (FTSN) December 2015 quarterly meeting. Jacksonville, Florida.

A. Roman. “BusCon 2015: New Vehicles, New Exhibitors, New Ways to DoBusiness” Metro Magazine, December 1, 2015. Accessed on February 11, 2016 at http://www.metro-magazine.com/bus/article/411192/buscon-2015-new-vehicles-new-exhibitors-new-ways-to-do-business.

“Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and Lytx Recognized with 2015 Innovative Solutions Award for Safety” September 30, 2015. Accessed on February 11, 2016 at http://www.lytx.com/press-releases/greater-cleveland-regional-transit-authority-lytx-recognized-2015-innovative-solutions-award-safety.

TRB Staff
Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Phone: 202-334-2361
Email: mgarciacolberg@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 21, 2018, Washington, DC

Teleconference with Consultant: 10/5/2018
Second Panel: May 31, 2019, Washington, DC

Topic Panel 

Charles Anderson, Western Contra Costa Transit Authority

Richard W. Czeck, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Jitender Ramchandani, Virginia DOT

Alan L. Rao, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

Sheldon C. Shaw, Utah Transit Authority

Sue A. Stewart, Consultant

Victor B. Wiley, Consultant

Patrick Centolanzi, Federal Transit Administration

Roy Wei Shun Chen, Federal Transit Administration-TRI

Brian L. Sherlock, Amalgamated Transit Union





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