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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Transit and Grade-Crossing Incidents by Rail Transit Mode

Embedded Dataset Excel:

Dataset Excel:

table_02_37_012324.xlsx (25.66 KB)


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. 

The increase in the number of Incidents beginning from 2015 is due largely to a change in definitions by the FTA. In 2015, all collisions involving disabling damage to an involved vehicle, all rail collisions at grade crossings, collisions between rail vehicles and people, main line derailments of non-revenue rail vehicles, and all yard derailments qualified as reportable. This change in coverage led to more reported Grade Crossing Incidents as well.

Automated guideway category is added in 2014 Q4 edition.


KEY: N = data do not exist; P = preliminary; R = revised; U = data are not available.

a Starting in 2015, Rail Transit Incidents include all collisions, derailments, fires, security events, and not otherwise classified safety events meeting National Transit Database (NTD) reporting thresholds (note: Some thresholds have changed through the years.). Please refer to the NTD Safety & Security Reporting Policy Manual available at for more information.

b Starting in 2015, Rail Grade Crossing Incidents for all modes except commuter rail includes Rail Transit Incidents resulting from transit vehicle collisions at grade crossings (excluding suicides).

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

d Transit total subtract grade crossing. 

e Starting in 2015, Light rail includes streetcar and hybrid rail.

f Starting in 2015, Automated guideway includes monorail/automated guideway and monorail.


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 Jun. 8, 2005, Apr. 5, 2006, Jun. 14, 2007, Jun. 18, 2008, Aug. 20, 2010, Apr. 20, 2011, May 22, 2012, Jun. 22, 2012, Jul. 8, 2013, Jan. 9, 2015, Sep. 7, 2022, and Jan. 17, 2024.