Buses are a very important part of getting around New York. There used to be surface trolleys grinding on tracks through the cobblestone streets of Queens and Brooklyn, but buses now cover all of those routes since subway tunnels and elevated rails took all the trams off the streets.
Having a commercial driver's license to operate a bus, semitruck or other large, commercial vehicle requires extra training and testing on safe operations.
New York City would be a very different place without buses. It would probably be far more crowded with cars and trucks, as more people would have to rely on their own vehicles to get around or between boroughs. Although buses help run the city, their drivers and mechanics are not infallible, no matter how careful they are in their work.
People may not thank you for taking the bus, but the planet is happy about it. Bus ridership helps reduce pollution and congestion in New York and other major cities, and trips taken on larger vehicles are often safer than personal cars or trucks. But nobody is perfect, and accidents can be just as dangerous for buses when they happen.
The National Safety Council, taking its data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, stated that 117 people in New York and across the U.S. were killed in school bus-related accidents in 2018. This covers any vehicle used as a bus and includes incidents where buses are stopped to pick up or drop off students.
New York is one of the busiest and fastest-moving cities on the planet, as well as home to nearly 2 million children. One of the difficulties of public safety and law enforcement officials in the "city that never sleeps" is balancing the need for transit with the need for safety.
Buses, with their large size, pose a risk for those in passenger vehicles. On the other hand, the lack of seat belts and airbags puts the occupants of the buses in danger, too. New York residents who are involved in a bus accident should know about the laws and regulations around the filing of a claim.
A 52-year-old New York City woman was critically injured on the evening of Oct. 26 when she was struck by a Bee-Line bus as she crossed the street near Lehman College. The Bronx County resident, who has not been identified, was rushed to a nearby trauma center by paramedics with what were described as life-threatening injuries. Bee-Line buses are operated by the Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation.
A New York congresswoman is one of the lawmakers sponsoring a bill that would stiffen the background check requirements for school bus drivers. The Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act is named after a 10-year-old girl who was killed in a deadly school bus accident in May 2018. Republican Elise Stefanik, who represents New York's 21st congressional district, says that parents should not have to worry about safety when they drop their children off at school bus stops.
Avid cyclists in New York may have heard about a fatal bus accident that occurred in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County back in 2009. This accident led to the death of a cyclist, the passing of a new traffic law and a lawsuit from the cyclist's wife. Almost 10 years later, in March 2019, the lawsuit ended in a settlement of $75,000.