Customer Behavior Relative to Gap between Platform and Train

Managing gap safety at the train platform interface has been an on-going concern for passenger rail systems. The major questions this research seeks to answer are what customer behaviors are associated with the risk of gap injury incidents and what are potential ways to reduce these behavioral risks. To answer these questions, the research approach is two pronged. The first prong analyzes and reviews the NJ TRANSIT Rail accident data and reports to gain a clear picture of the accidents in relation to demographic, seasonal, and temporal characteristics. The second prong involves observational studies of passengers boarding trains to identify behavioral patterns that are associated with risk of gap accidents. An analysis of gap injuries on NJ TRANSIT Rail found that for 2005 to 2008, gap injuries accounted for 25 percent of passenger injuries on NJ TRANSIT Rail. The majority of gap injuries occur during the AM and PM peak periods. For gap injuries the percent of injuries peaks for the very young, under 10 years old. For both gap and non-gap injuries, the majority of the injured were women. Sixty-six percent of gap injuries occurred while passengers were boarding. The study indicates that young children were particularly vulnerable to gap injuries while detraining. Seventy-eight percent of detraining passengers and 88 percent of boarding passengers were observed to look down while detraining or boarding. Based on the analysis of the data, recommendations on strategies for reducing gap accidents include additional Passenger Information, Platform and Train Treatments, Training and Public Awareness Campaign.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 79p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149202
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-NJ-2009-009
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2010 2:16PM