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Illinois Public Transportation Accidents – Facts and Figures

Man boards a Public Transportation bus.

Hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents rely on public transportation every day. This is particularly true in the Chicago metro area, where the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offer public buses and trains, including the Metra subway service. School buses are another sector of public transportation responsible for millions of young riders every day.

The state or local government entities that sponsor public transportation services have an obligation to ensure that trains, subway lines, buses, etc., are operated safely. When a public transportation accident occurs, those who have been injured – or the families of anyone who has been killed – have a right to seek to be made whole financially for their losses.

Let’s take a closer look at these types of accidents.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system. The CTA sets annual goals for performance metrics in a variety of areas, including safety.

For both the bus and rail lines, the CTA defines a “safety-related incident” as “any event where one or more of the following occurs on the system:

  • Individual dies at the time or within 30 days of the event
  • One or more persons suffer bodily damage as a result of the event, requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene
  • Property damage in excess of $25,000.

The CTA reports:

  • 1,781 CTA buses operate over 140 routes and 1,959 route miles. Buses make about 19,709 trips a day and serve 11,493 posted bus stops. CTA buses travel 145,832 miles each day.
  • The bus line had 0.44 safety-related incidents per 100,000 miles per month on average in 2011, or about 19 bus accidents each month. The average was the same for the first nine months of 2012.
  • 1,200 CTA rail cars operate over eight routes and 224.1 miles of track. CTA trains make about 2,145 trips each day and serve about 145 stations. CTA trains travel 177,490 miles each day.
  • The rail line had 0.04 safety-related incidents per 100,000 miles per month on average in 2011, more than two CTA train accidents per month. The average was 0.05 per 100,000 miles for the first nine months of 2012.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) 2011 Crash Facts and Statistics report says there were:

  • Six fatal train crashes across the state in 2010 in which motor vehicles were involved with trains, resulting in eight deaths.
  • Six people were killed at railroad crossings with RR gates. Two died where there was an “other RR crossing device.”

IDOT also reports:

  • 1,476 school bus crashes in Illinois in 2010, resulting in 276 injuries and five fatalities (none of the people who died were school-age children, thankfully).
  • 1,195 school bus crashes resulted in reportable property damage.
  • 1,333 school bus crashes were in urban areas, and 143 were in rural areas.
  • 80 children age 5 to 19 were injured in school bus crashes in 2010.
  • 61 school bus drivers were injured in crashes in 2010.
  • 225 occupants of other vehicles were injured and five were killed in school bus accidents.
  • Seven school-age pedestrians were injured in school bus crashes.
  • 13 other pedestrians were killed and one was injured in school bus crashes.
  • Seven pedalcyclists were injured in school bus crashes. IDOT defines “pedalcycles” as bicycles, tricycles, unicycles and big wheels.

Across the country, an average of six school-age occupants of school transportation vehicles and 13 school-age pedestrians die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Contact a Chicago Public Transportation Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident involving a public bus or rail line, including school transportation, in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries and losses. Protect your rights by contacting the Chicago public transportation accident attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Call us today toll free or use our online contact form. We represent individuals who have been hurt in public transportation accidents throughout Chicago and Illinois, including residents of Cook and Lake counties.