Transit Riders Face the Highest Safety Risks in These 10 States

According to federal data, the average number of safety incidents on public transportation averaged 55.2 per 100,000 people across all states between 2010 and 2023. Which states came in well above the national average?

2 minute read

April 18, 2024, 5:00 AM PDT

By Mary Hammon @marykhammon


New York Public Transit

Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock

Rider safety on public transportation has been a huge topic in the news of late, from bus and train collisions to transit agencies grappling with violence in stations and on vehicles. Property Casualty 360 reported recent data analysis by H&P law that ranked states according to safety risk to riders. The data, which came from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, showed the average number of incidents (combined fatalities, collisions, and injuries) on transportation vehicles across all U.S. states was 55.2 per 100,00 people from 2010 to 2023.

According to the analysis, here are the 10 states where riders face the most risk:

  1. New York: 45,732 total incidents; 230.3 incidents per 100,000 residents; 317% above national average (NA)
  2. Illinois: 20,910 total incidents; 64.8 incidents per 100,000 residents; 198% above NA
  3. Delaware: 1,607 total incidents; 159.9 incidents per 100,000 residents; 189% above NA
  4. Pennsylvania: 17,725 total incidents; 136.2 incidents per 100,000 residents; 147% above NA
  5. Maryland: 7,448 total incidents; 120.6 incidents per 100,000 residents; 18.4% above NA
  6. Massachusetts: 7,749 total incidents; 110.8 incidents per 100,000 residents; 101% above NA
  7. b 9,221 total incidents; 99.5 incidents per 100,000 residents; 80% above NA
  8. Missouri: 5,463 total incidents; 88.5 incidents per 100,000 residents; 60% above NA
  9. Hawaii: 1,269 total incidents; 87.7 incidents per 100,000 residents; 59% above NA
  10. Connecticut: 3,138 total incidents; 87.1 incidents per 100,000 residents; 58% above NA

It’s an interesting data snapshot to be sure. However, the numbers don’t seem to reflect the fact that public transportation access and availability vary by state, even between states with comparable populations. Of course states with larger, more robust transit networks will have more transit-related incidents per capita than states with fewer and smaller transit offerings. Perhaps an analysis of incidents per 100,000 rides (rather than per 100,000 people) would paint a more accurate picture.

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