September 26, 2014
14 Things You Need To Be Doing To Avoid Injuries on NYC Buses
By Jonathan Damashek
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.
Tips to Avoid Injuries Inside and Outside Bus
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
- Hold on to a railing while boarding and exiting the bus.
- Keep baggage, strollers, and other obstructions out of the aisle.
- Be extra careful on bus steps or the bus floor in wet and wintry weather.
- Don’t talk to the bus operator when the bus is in motion.
- Stand behind the white line located in the front of the bus.
- Stay seated or hold the handrail (if standing) before the bus moves or is in motion.
- Don’t stand in the rear door stairwell.
- Keep your head and arms inside the bus.
- Ask the bus operator if you need to have the bus lowered or repositioned for you to exit safely.
Outside the bus
- Stand clear as the bus approaches or drives away from the bus stop.
- If a bus is making a turn in front of you as you stand on a curb or sidewalk, step back.
- Don’t run to catch a bus.
- Do not cross in front of the bus. Let the bus leave first. Always cross at the corner.
- Watch for cars and other moving vehicles after you leave 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.