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Identifying Research Priorities to Improve Safety for Pedestrians and Bicyclists Accessing Bus Stops

Project Description

Most riders access transit service by foot or bike, which makes transit stops important generators of pedestrian and bicycle activity. However, studying the relationship between transit access and ped/bike safety can be challenging for numerous reasons, particularly a lack of safety-related datasets that specifically identify pedestrians or bicyclists as also being transit passengers on the first or last mile of their trip. This has led to limited prior research specifically focusing on the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists as they access transit stops. In light of this gap, there are two overarching objectives for this project. The first is to lay the groundwork for future transit-related ped/bike safety research through the Center for Pedestrian Bicyclist Safety (CPBS) over the next five years to help support the US DOT Strategic Goal of “increasing transit ridership in top transit cities.” To accomplish this, a three-step method is proposed: (1) conduct an in-depth literature review on pedestrian/bicycle safety issues when accessing transit; (2) identify local, state, and national transit-related datasets that can be used to analyze ped/bike safety; and (3) analyze nationwide trends in bus-stop related pedestrian fatalities using Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. The second objective is to address transit access by pedestrians as part of one of the core Year 1 CPBS Research Themes to demonstrate integrating transit into ped/bike safety research. Specifically, this project will integrate with the “Arterials” Research Theme and conduct an exploratory analysis of the correlation between bus ridership and pedestrian safety outcomes on arterials in Tennessee (see related project 23UTK02).


The primary outcome for this project is a Technical Report that will summarize key findings from prior literature on ped/bike safety at bus stops, describe the most promising transit-related ped/bike safety datasets, and delineate hypotheses warranting future research based on the results of the nationwide FARS analysis to help guide future CPBS research projects pertaining to transit access. 


The expected impacts of this project pertain to safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at bus stops. The key findings from the nationwide FARS analysis will hopefully guide changes in practice, such as bus stop and nearby infrastructure design.


06/01/2023 to 05/31/2024


University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Principal Investigator

Candace Brakewood

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

ORCID: 0000-0003-2769-7808


Christopher Cherry
niversity of Tennessee-Knoxville
ORCID: 0000-0002-8835-4617 

Research Project Funding

Federal: $88,188

Non-Federal: $25,731

Contract Number


Project Number


Research Priority

Promoting Safety

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