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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26503.
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4 Importance of the Issue Trespassing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way is a longstanding issue impact- ing every agency. Some of the major drivers to investigate this issue at this time include the following. Trespassing accident and incident levels are increasing. The FRA reports that trespassing on freight, intercity passenger, and commuter railroad rights-of-way is the leading cause of all rail-related fatalities in the United States. FRA reports trespassing has increased by 32% in the past 10 years. Over 50% of trespassing incident injuries are fatal (1). Rail transit agencies also experience high levels of trespassing incidents. The absence of data points does not mean the absence of a problem. Despite data showing a tremendous issue, trespasser strikes are a relatively rare event at any specific location. This does not mean there are not numerous close calls in the field every day. While the location of any incident must be analyzed, the reality is that these locations may not be the locations of the highest risk. Rail transit and commuter rail services are being added in many areas. There are cur- rently 22 light rail, 14 heavy rail, and 29 commuter rail systems in the United States according to APTA (2). Approximately 24% of these systems have opened to the public since 2005, and many of these locations previously saw little or no train traffic (3). The number of pedestrians has increased. Rail transit has been identified as a key strategy for eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries in the United States. Additionally, many com- munities are actively encouraging increased pedestrian activity as a transportation policy goal. Replacing vehicle trips with pedestrian trips can provide several benefits including the reduction in vehicle congestion and improved health. Many communities are also investing in transit- oriented development adjacent to rail stations, further increasing pedestrian activity in areas around rail stations and tracks. Trespasser incident costs go beyond operational and equipment costs. Trespasser inci- dents come at a great cost to agency employees, law enforcement, and first responders. Research Objectives The objective of TCRP Project A-44 is to provide information on strategies to deter trespass- ing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way. This objective was accomplished through four primary means: • Reviewing the breadth of research on current trespasser mitigation strategies. • Cataloging the variety of current approaches to preventing trespassing on existing rights- of-way. C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

Introduction 5   • Analyzing the trespasser mitigation strategies to ascertain overall outcomes and effectiveness. • Documenting best practices and making recommendations. The focus of this research is rail transit and commuter rail systems in exclusive and semi- exclusive rights-of-way, including rights-of-way in stations outside designated pedestrian cross- ings. In addition to this research overview (published as TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview), the final research project products include TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 1: Guidebook, an interactive spreadsheet, a technical memorandum titled Implementation of Research Find- ings and Products, and a summary promotional video. The interactive spreadsheet and the video are available on the National Academies Press website (www.nap.edu) by searching for TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way. Research Approach TCRP Project A-44 was completed through eight tasks, which are listed below with the objec- tives of each task noted: • Task 1: Review and Summarize Relevant Literature. The objective of this task was to review and summarize existing literature, other relevant documentation, and data sources related to rail transit and commuter rail trespasser mitigation strategies. • Task 2: Document Current Domestic and International Practices. The objective of this task was to document current domestic and international trespasser mitigation strategies. • Task 3: Conduct Survey Outreach. The objective of this task was to conduct a survey of domestic and non-North American agencies to catalog and understand trespasser concerns and issues, drivers of trespassing, agency responsibilities, measures of effectiveness, and prac- tices to mitigate trespasser incidents. • Task 4: Evaluate and Compare Rail Transit Agency Approaches. The objective of this task was to evaluate Task 1 through 3 findings to identify common and different approaches to addressing the trespassing issue. • Task 5: Identify Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Recommendations. The objective of this task was to identify best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations. • Task 6: Prepare Interim Report and Conduct Panel Teleconference. The objective of this task was to consolidate Task Write-Up No. 1 through No. 5 into an interim report and con- duct a TCRP Project A-44 panel teleconference to review the interim project findings and confirm case study locations. • Task 7: Conduct Approved Case Studies. The objective of this task was to conduct in-depth case studies of a minimum of four agencies in the United States and one non-North American agency. • Task 8: Produce Final Project Products. The objective of this task was to develop the final project products, including a guidebook that includes an interactive spreadsheet, a final report (research overview), a technical memorandum, and a summary promotional video. Report Structure This report documents the research methodology and findings used to develop the guide- book, with the information provided in the following chapters: • Chapter 1: Introduction. This chapter presents the research objective along with an overview of the tasks completed to develop the guidebook.

6 Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way • Chapter 2: Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Characteristics. This chapter combines currently available trespassing data and available literature review findings to characterize the extent of the trespassing problem, locations of trespassing, and demo- graphics of trespassers. • Chapter 3: Online Survey of Practitioners. This chapter provides a summary of the find- ings from the survey of domestic and non-North American rail transit and commuter rail agencies. • Chapter 4: Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Trespassing Countermeasure Strategies and Current Practices. This chapter presents strategies to deter trespassing on rail transit and com- muter rail rights-of-way in three major categories, with a description of the counter measure strategy, examples of current use applications, accounts of the stated level of effectiveness, and a summary of findings. • Chapter 5: Review of Existing Guidelines and Recommendations for Addressing Tres- passing Issues. This chapter describes existing guidelines, standards, and decision-making processes associated with current domestic and international trespasser mitigation strategies. • Chapter 6: Case Study Selection Methodology and Findings. This chapter presents the methodology undertaken to identify possible case study locations and the summary of find- ings from the case study meetings. • Chapter 7: Recapitulation. This chapter describes the contents of the guidebook and the work done on the project.

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Trespassing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way is a longstanding issue impacting every agency.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 2: Research Overview provides guidance on strategies to deter trespassing on rail transit and commuter rail rights-of-way.

This report is a supplement to TCRP Research Report 233: Strategies for Deterring Trespassing on Rail Transit and Commuter Rail Rights-of-Way, Volume 1: Guidebook.

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