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Transit and Grade-Crossing Incidents by Rail Transit Mode

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YearAll transit rail, totalTransit onlyGrade crossingLight rail, totalTransit onlyGrade crossingHeavy rail, totalTransit onlyGrade crossingAutomated guideway, totalTransit onlyGrade crossingCommuter rail, totalTransit onlyGrade crossing
(P) 201311,38211,280102838758808,8288,8262929201,6241,60420
(P) 20148,8208,6691519207901306,3276,3243686801,5051,48718

Light rail and heavy rail Grade crossings are regulated by the Federal Transit Administration. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) defines two types of Grade crossings: (1) At grade, mixed, and cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which other traffic moving in the same direction or other cross directions may pass. This includes city street right-of-way; (2) At grade with cross traffic crossings, meaning railway right-of-way over which no other traffic may pass, except to cross at grade-level crossings. This can include median strip rights-of-way with grade level crossings at intersecting streets. 

Commuter rail Grade crossings are regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration. The Federal Railroad Administration defines a Grade crossing as a location where a public highway, road, street, or private roadway, including associated sidewalks and pathways, crosses one or more railroad tracks at grade.

Data thresholds changed for certain elements beginning with 2002. The extreme drop in the Incidents, injuries, collisions, and not otherwise classifieds (personal casualties) for 2002 is due to the change of the incident thresholds, specifically the definition of injuries, in the National Transportation Database. The injury threshold for filing an incident report changed to be two or more injuries requiring immediate medical transportation away from the scene, or one or more injuries requiring immediate medical transportation away from the scene in the case of incidents at grade crossings or along rail right-of-ways in 2002. Previously, any injury was reportable. Further, there were National Transportation Database definition changes made in 2008 to simplify the injury thresholds for filing an incident report. FTA simplified this threshold to being simply one or more injuries requiring immediate medical transportation away from the scene. 

All transit rail, total includes data for other transit rail modes which are not presented in this table (such as monorail), thus details may not add to totals.

Automated guideway category is added in 2014 Q4 edition.


KEY: P = preliminary; N = data does not exist.


U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Transit Safety and Security Statistics and Analysis Annual Report, (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), available at as of Apr. 5, 2006, and personal communications on June 8, 2005, Apr. 5, 2006, June 14, 2007, June 18, 2008, Aug. 20, 2010, Apr. 20, 2011, May 22, 2012, Jun. 22, 2012, July 8, 2013, Jan. 9, 2015 and June 23, 2016.

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