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New MTA “Ferrari-like” Buses Still Leave Operators Blind as Bats

ATU says new buses still have blind spots endangering pedestrians, Union calls on MTA to reconsider new buses

Media Contact: David Roscow, 301-431-7100 x254


Silver Spring, MD – With pedestrian fatalities on the rise, MTA’s new “Ferrari-like” buses continue to endanger pedestrians due to the driver blind spots created by the poor bus design says the Amalgamated Transit Union, in calling on the transit agency to reconsider the purchase of these buses.

Roughly one pedestrian is killed every ten days by a transit bus in the United States. The pillars of this design can hide a half-dozen pedestrians across an intersection. Union analysis of MTA’s current fleet, showed that the poorly designed mirrors can hide another half-dozen. Instead of adopting safe and proven designs, the agency just deleted the wide angle portion of the mirror but this creates a new huge blind area behind the bus, putting bicyclists, motorcyclists and others in a new and unnecessary hazard zone.

“The MTA’s ‘blindness’ on the serious problem of huge blind spots created by continued poor bus design of these new buses is criminal,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley. “Wifi, USB ports, and LCD screens don’t do much good when you have a bus operator driving a 40,000 pound vehicle blindfolded because of these massive blind spots.

“The Governor should require that the MTA reconsider purchasing these new buses otherwise they’ll be jeopardizing the safety of pedestrians cyclists and others, across New York for decades to come. The same design changes, which have made European streets so much safer, can be demanded here,” Hanley continued.

With the flawed design of massive “A” pillars on these new MTA buses, operators will have to continue to try to bob and weave in their seat -- the "rock and roll" method – in an attempt to see around these massive pillars. Current European buses have no blind spots.

The cost of eliminating the blind spot on current vehicles is under $300 per bus while these newfangled, technology-friendly, “Ferrari-like” buses are costing taxpayers close to $800,000 each.

“The solution is staring the MTA right in the face. Change the design of buses to remove the unnecessary blind spots so bus drivers can fulfill their mission to move New Yorkers safely,” Hanley continued. "We engineered safe buses over half a century ago, only to trade safety for higher profit and lower cost. Europe has safe buses now. New Yorkers deserves no less today."