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General Overview

EICS Framework


Region of Reference

  • AfricaAfrica
  • AsiaAsia
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • EuropeEurope
  • North-AmericaNorth-America
  • South-AmericaSouth-America
  • WorldWorld


This intervention refers to improved lighting at and around public transport stops, stations, and waiting areas. Improved lighting is an effective way to enhance visibility. Good visibility (and therefore good lighting) is important, as it can reduce crime levels and fear of crime by allowing people to see their surroundings clearly, as well as deterring offenders from committing a crime. [2,5]

Surveys show that female passengers specifically are more anxious about their safety when there is poor lighting at stations/stops as well as en route to those stations/stops, especially when travelling at night. [3,6]

Types of Impact

Area Impacted

  • To/from the stop/station/rank
  • Waiting for train/bus/paratransit
  • In the vehicle
  • At interchanges
Any form of improved lighting will be beneficial in public spaces, but the intervention specifically refers to increased surveillance in the public transport space and en route to public transport stops/stations.

Time of Day of Impact

  • Day-time travel
  • Night-time travel
  • Peak-time travel
  • Off peak-time travel
All travel time categories could be positively impacted by this intervention, especially those in times of darkness. This intervention could have a significant positive effect on night-time travel and off-peak time travel.

Mode Impacted

  • Bus
  • Train
  • Rideshare
  • 4 wheelers informal
  • 3 wheelers informal
  • 2 wheelers informal
  • Cycling
  • Walking
All modes could potentially be impacted by this intervention.

Demographic impacted

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Adult Women
  • Men
  • Elderly Women
All public transport users will be positively impacted by this intervention, there is no evidence of improved lighting projects benefitting particular user groups only. The literature does, however, reveal that women are more fearful than men when there is poor lighting.5 On the other hand, other studies have found that women continue to feel unsafe even when there is good lighting, so no clear hypothesis with regards to gender preference is available. [1]

SWOT Analysis

  • Quick to be implemented

  • Perceived to be effective

  • Relatively low skills required

  • Scalable to suit budget and need for the resource

  • As soon as implementation stops, the benefits stop i.e. if the lighting stops working, the benefits stop.

  • Not effective in parts of the transport system where the intervention is not physically present

  • Crime reduction

  • An unreliable power supply could render this intervention useless at times.

  • Fishbowl effect: when the stop/station is brightly lit but the surrounding environment is dark - poses a threat to passengers waiting, as they can't see out but they can be seen by potential offenders. [1]


Several literature sources confidently indicate this to be an effective measure in improving public safety. A large number of studies reach the same conclusion with regard to effectiveness, so the level of confidence that this measure is effective is high. Female passengers largely perceive improved lighting to be an effective measure in improving their safety. [1-7] However, some female passengers have reported that they continue to feel unsafe when there is good lighting as they would prefer the physical presence of a security guard. [8]

  • Perception by (female) passengers
  • Perception by governing bodies
  • Level of confidence in these ratings


Implementation of this intervention can happen quickly and be ramped up over time, depending on the available funds. The benefits ensue immediately upon implementation. Unfortunately, if the lighting malfunctions and stops working, the benefits also stop.

Implementation timeframe

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Timeframe to realise benefits

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Scale of Implementation

This intervention can be implemented at a local or city level.

Station or

Ease of Implementation

This intervention is relatively easy to implement, although it requires skilled personnel. A potential barrier to implementation is access to a power supply, as electricity is needed for the lights to work.

List of References



1. Gardner, N., Cui, J. & Coiacetto, E. 2017. Harassment on public transport and its impacts on women’s travel behaviour. Australian Planner. 54(1):8–15. DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2017.1299189.



2. Gekoski A., Gray J., Horvath M., Edwards M. A.H., Emirali S., Adler, J. R. (2015) What Works’ in Reducing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Offences on Public Transport Nationally and Internationally: A Rapid Evidence Assessment, London: British Transport Police and Department for Transport. 2015.

3. Koskela, H. & Pain, R. 2000. Revisiting fear and place: Women’s fear of attack and the built environment. Geoforum. 31(2):269–280. DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00033-0.

4. Cozens, P., Neale, R., Hillier, D. & Whitaker, J. 2004. Tackling Crime and Fear of Crime While Waiting at Britain’s Railway Stations. Journal of Public Transportation. 7(3):23–41. DOI: 10.5038/2375-0901.7.3.2.

North America

North America

5. Yavuz, N. & Welch, E.W. 2010. Addressing fear of crime in public space: Gender differences in reaction to safety measures in train transit. Urban Studies. 47(12):2491–2515. DOI: 10.1177/0042098009359033.

6. Loukaitou-Sideris, A., Brozen, M., Pinski, M. & Ding, H. 2020. Documenting #MeToo in Public Transportation: Sexual Harassment Experiences of University Students in Los Angeles (September, 25). DOI: 10.1177/0739456X20960778.

7. Loukaitou-Sideris, A. 2014. Fear and safety in transit environments from the women’s perspective. Security Journal. 27(2):242–256. DOI: 10.1057/sj.2014.9.

8. Lane, J., Gover, A.R. & Dahod, S. 2009. Fear of violent crime among men and women on campus: The impact of perceived risk and fear of sexual assault. Violence and Victims. 24(2):172–192. DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.24.2.172.