Millions of New Yorkers rely on buses to go to work, school and run personal errands and generally arrive safely, but bus accidents do occur. The system, which has 5,712 buses serving Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, carried an average of 2.6 million riders on week days.
New York City Transit has embarked on a campaign to promote safety both in and around its Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses. A colorful print campaign begun last spring advises bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists how to remain safe onboard and around buses.
The safety campaign includes posters on buses and brochures that riders can pick up. The key, according to safety experts is situational awareness, the MTA says. This especially applies to those who may be distracted by cell phones, headphones and other electronic devices when walking or riding a bike.
The NYC Transit ridership of 812 million riders is more than twice as large as the nation’s second largest transit system in Los Angeles.
To stay safe and avoid injuries, the MTA offers these safety tips:
Inside the bus
Outside the bus
Tour buses in New York City, like the bus that crashed near Times Square August 5 injuring 13 people, must have a sightseeing bus license issued by the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs. And, though each bus must pass a nine-point checklist, the City does not require companies that put sightseeing buses on NYC streets to report accidents to the city, according to an Associated Press report. “Because the city does not require the information, Consumer Affairs does not consider accidents when renewing a sightseeing company’s license.”
“The legal loophole and the police’s imprecise records deprive the public of an important metric and leave (tour bus) companies without official numbers to back up their claims of high safety and few accidents,” the AP says.
Another problem is a gap in the information available about a bus driver’s record. The driver in the August 5 crash had 20 suspensions for administrative and insurance issues on his driving record, but they were in New Jersey. The Consumer Affairs Department notifies companies of driver violations, but only has access to New York records. Because states don’t share information, his record looked clean.