Few things that go awry in public transportation operations are genuine “accidents.” Occasionally—albeit rarely—a genuine accident indeed occurs in the course of providing public transportation service. Of course, so do incidents of insurance fraud.
In contrast, some mishaps that occur in the provision of public transportation service are actually incidents caused largely by driver error. But far more of them are the result of policy-making and/or management errors and omissions: negligence committed by individuals far above the driver in the decision-making and management hierarchy. Drivers may contribute to and sometimes compound these errors, effectively sacrificing passenger, pedestrian and motorist safety to accomplish other objectives (e.g. schedule compliance). Transportation Alternatives President Ned Einstein (see transalt.com) refers to these trade-offs as “Safety Compromises.”