Znak Politechniki Warszawskiej

Can you feel safe in the Warsaw Metro? Students of the Warsaw University of Technology examined this claim

phot. SKN Progres

Outages, terrorist attacks, hurrying, not always careful crowds – these are only a few of the threats of commuting by Metro. Members of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” operating at the Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences have decided to tackle the issue of safety in the Warsaw Metro. The fruit of their works is the study summary report.

Everything began in autumn last year, when students have opted for more club activities. “We were studying safety administration, so we decided that we would tackle the issue of safety in public transport; especially since safety issues raised a lot of doubts after the opening of the Metro’s second line”, says Paweł Nowak, chief coordinator of the project.

Several Months of Work

During club meetings, its members discussed and prepared subsequent research phases. Six people participated in these works: Aleksandra Tercjak, Paweł Nowak, Wiktor Chojecki, Łukasz Damętka, Rafał Dynek and Joanna Rak. Students have decided that they want to know what factors make Metro users feel safe. To this end, they have prepared a survey that was available online for over 2.5 months (from 2 November 2015 to 22 January 2016).

During that time, they analysed the issue of safety with respect to law – using acts and regulations, in particular the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 17 June 2011 on Technical Conditions for Metro Structures and Their Placement. But that’s not all. “We also wrote a short paper on safety with respect to psychology, i.e. how other people or events can influence our sense of safety”, says Paweł Nowak.

These analyses have been used in the introduction to the study report. Its main goal is to discuss and compile survey results. Members of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” have been working on this between February and May 2016. They analysed 188 submitted questionnaires, mostly from citizens of Warsaw. “Our respondent group was quite wide, it included all types of Metro users”, explains Rafał Dynek, President of the Science Club.

According to the study conducted by the University’s students, people feel that Metro is a very safe means of transportation, and the only factor that influences their sense of safety are other passengers. “If there are too many passengers, people don’t feel safe, but it’s the same when there’s too few of them”, says Paweł Nowak. “It’s difficult to determine the boundary that makes our respondents feel comfortable in the Metro”.

Science Club’s members have assumed that our sense of safety is influenced by participation in emergency situations. It was the study’s main hypothesis. However, analysing the results did not confirm this speculation.

Presentations and Meetings

Students of the WUT have presented their project report during a dedicated meeting – in June 2016. Grzegorz Żurawski, spokesperson of the Warsaw Metro, made an appearance. “We found out that the Warsaw Metro has been conducting its own surveys and that our results are compatible”, says Łukasz Damętka.

After the presentation, members of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” established cooperation with the Metro’s representative, thanks to which they were able to visit its headquarters in Kabaty. They saw how Metro safety looks from behind the scenes, i.e. how the safety of trains and their traffic is implemented. The students were also able to observe drivers training using simulators.

The second presentation of the report of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” took place at the Faculty of Transport of the WUT, for the Department of Controlling Railway Traffic. During this meeting, experts have shared their technical knowledge with Club members.

Stadiums under Scrutiny

“Sense of safety in the Warsaw Metro” is the first project of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” executed in its current line-up. The Club itself has been operating at the University for 16 years. It was founded when there was no Faculty of Administration and Social Sciences, only a College. Today, about 10 people participate in the works of “Progres”. More will join soon. Students can count on help and support from their advisers – Dr Paweł Sosnowski and Dr Helena Bulińska-Stangrecka.

And they have a lot to work on. Club members are already planning the next idea. “We want to assess the sense of safety at football stadiums during matches”, says Wiktor Chojecki. “It’s still in the design phase, though”.

It was Łukasz Damętka’s idea. “I go to Legia Warszawa’s matches and I see the way media portray the events there, and I hear from people that have never been to a stadium: ‘why are you going there when it’s just fights and chaos?’”, he says. “So we got this idea to check and show how stadium safety looks like”.

Plans of University students are very ambitious. “We don’t want to focus solely on Warsaw”, adds Rafał Dynek. “We’re thinking to expand the study to other cities, and then to compare stadium safety there”. Wiktor Chojecki adds: “It would be nice if we could make a comparison with international stadiums. Fan problems are not limited to Poland. Other countries had to tackle it, too”.

Members of the Student’s Science Club “Progres” do not limit themselves to safety issues. “We can do any project if someone approaches us with a good idea and positive attitude”, says Łukasz Damętka.


Agnieszka Kapela

Office for Promotion and Information