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T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP REPORT 174 TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2015 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Subject Areas Public Transportation â¢ Safety and Human Factors Improving Safety Culture in Public Transportation Howard Roberts Richard Retting Sam Schwartz EnginEEring New York, NY Tom Webb Ashley Colleary wEStErn conSultantS Boston, MA Brian Turner Xinge Wang tranSportation lEarning cEntEr Silver Spring, MD Roger Toussaint Atlanta, GA Gwynn Simpson phoEnix riSing Chandler, AZ Claudia White whitE Sand conSulting Trabuco Canyon, CA
TCRP REPORT 174 Project A-35 ISSN 1073-4872 ISBN 978-0-309-30825-0 Â© 2015 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical panel selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must ex- pand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating prob- lems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Coopera- tive Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Admin istration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three coop- erating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Develop- ment Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activ ities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without com pensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transporta- tion Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individu- als interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 174 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Dianne S. Schwager, Senior Program Officer Jeffrey Oser, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Doug English, Editor TCRP PROJECT A-35 PANEL Area of Operations Ronald W. Nickle, MBTA, Boston, MA (Chair) Jean Claude Aurel, Jr., Transit Safety & Security Solutions, Inc., Denver, CO Anna M. Barry, Connecticut DOT, Newington, CT Melvin Clark, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX Julie Hile, Hile Group, Normal, IL Donald G. Jans, Waukesha Metro, Waukesha, WI Paul W. King, California Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, CA Chad Krukowski, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC Faye Lyons-Gary, Williams-Russell and Johnson, Inc./MATC, Atlanta, GA Reginald Mason, Gilbert, AZ Robert S. OâNeil, Robert OâNeil and Assoc., LLC, Potomac, MD Mike F. OâToole, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL Gardner Tabon, Regional Public Transportation Authority, Phoenix, AZ Ed Watt, Amalgamated Transit Union, Washington, DC Roy Wei Shun Chen, FTA Liaison William Grizard, APTA Liaison Bernardo Kleiner, TRB Liaison Richard Pain, TRB Liaison
F O R E W O R D By Dianne S. Schwager Staff Officer Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 174: Improving Safety Culture in Public Transportation is intended for public transportation agencies seeking to improve their safety culture. The report (1) provides a working definition of safety culture and identifies its key components for use by the pub- lic transportation industry, (2) presents methods and tools for assessing safety culture, (3) identifies performance indicators and reporting practices to support improved safety culture, (4) presents best practices in use by public transit and other organizations as tried- and-true strategies for improving safety culture, and (5) provides guidelines that can be used to initiate and build a program for improving safety culture by public transportation agencies. Building a positive safety culture within an organization is considered critical to safety performance, yet defining safety culture has been somewhat elusive. There are many defini- tions for the concept of safety culture and numerous components to what is described as a multifaceted phenomenon, with scores of contributing components. This report presents considerable research on the definition and elements that make up and influence safety culture within public transportation and in other industries. The research included a review of available literature, stakeholder interviews, surveys of transit industry leaders and experts, interviews on safety culture with leaders in other industries, and case studies. Drawing on the successes of organizations both within and outside the transit industry, the report presents specific strategies for improving safety culture and guidelines for public transportation agencies. Improving safety culture is a goal that requires a long-term, organization-wide commit- ment. TCRP Report 174 is a useful resource for pursuing and meeting this goal.
C O N T E N T S 1 Summary 14 Chapter 1 Literature Review Highlights 14 Introduction 14 Theoretical Foundation 16 Definition of Safety Culture 17 Models and Theories of Safety Culture 20 Components of Safety Culture 20 Assessment Methods 23 Chapter 2 Safety Culture Within Public Transportation 23 Introduction 23 Industry Stakeholder Survey 25 Key Elements of Positive Safety Culture 27 Identification of Transit Agencies with Positive Safety Cultures 28 Transit Industry MiniâCase Studies 31 Conclusions 33 Chapter 3 Safety Culture Outside Public Transportation 33 Introduction 33 Summary of Current Safety Cultures in Nine Companies 37 Conclusions 39 Chapter 4 Definition and Key Components of Safety Culture for Public Transportation 39 Introduction 39 Definitions from the Literature 39 Expert Safety Culture Panel 41 Components of Safety Culture in Transit 41 Defining Safety Culture 43 Conclusions 44 Chapter 5 Methods/Tools for Assessing Safety Culture 44 Introduction 44 Methods for Assessing Safety Culture 45 Assessment Planning 46 Survey Design 47 Survey Validation and Reliability Testing 48 Conclusions 49 Chapter 6 Key Performance Indicators 49 Introduction 49 Transit Agency Reporting 51 Airline Reporting: SAS Example 52 Conclusions
53 Chapter 7 Best Practices 53 Introduction 53 Role of Expert Safety Culture Panel 53 Best Practices in Rank Order 66 Conclusions 67 Chapter 8 Improving Safety Culture at Four Transit Agencies 67 Introduction 67 A New York City Transit Case Study 70 A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Case Study 73 A Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Case Study 75 An Orange County Transportation Authority Case Study 77 Comparison with Previous Research 79 Conclusions: Guiding Principles 81 Chapter 9 Guidelines for Improving Safety Culture and Recommendations for Additional Research 81 Guidelines for Improving Safety Culture 84 Recommendations for Additional Research A P P E N D I X E S 85 Appendix A Literature Review 111 Appendix B Transit Agency MiniâCase Study Detail 131 Appendix C Company MiniâCase Study Detail 139 Appendix D Draft Transit Safety Culture Survey 145 Appendix E References