Author: Ilya Ilyankou, Transport Hartford Ambassador
In 2014, Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, published a paper titled A New Transit Safety Narrative, where he described public transport as a safe and secure mode of transportation, with the casualty (injury or death) rate being one-tenth of that of automobile travel. In the paper, Litman presented an eye opening chart of traffic fatalities plotted against annual transit rides per capita in US cities.
Question – Does this US trend repeat in Connecticut, the Land of Steady Habits?
From the Litman chart, it follows that the more transit trips a city has, the lower its traffic fatality rate. In other words, the more people that ride buses and trains, we expect to find that fewer people die in crashes.
How about Connecticut? – When analyzing traffic crash data for Connecticut, we discovered that towns in the state form a similar pattern. We created an interactive scatter plot of ‘Average Annual Crash Fatalities Rate (per 100,000 residents)’ vs ‘Public Transit Rate.’ The public transit rate for each town is available from the annual American Community Survey.
Conclusion – The two charts look very similar and convey the same idea: more transit ridership results in many fewer crash fatalities. The public safety benefit of bus transit and rail is particularly interesting in Connecticut with:
About the Connecticut Data and Other Sources –