Riders Tripping On New Low Floor Buses

For those who have rode MTA NYC Transit buses over the years, dealing with those steps has proven to be a challenge at one point or another. However the agency has been investing in new low floor buses which have a flat entrance with no steps. One would think that such a bus would prove easier for those who tripped on the older bus stairs.

However that has not been the case according to a brief report in yesterday’s New York Post by Tom Namako & Perry Chiaramonte:

You’d expect this from tourists.

But even the most veteran city bus riders can’t seem to manage the MTA’s new, low-floor buses — tripping over anticipated but nonexistent steps in and out of the vehicle — and their mistakes have brought on a sudden spike in straphanger injuries.

About 7.5 percent more riders — about 75 in all — were injured on low-floor buses from January 2009 to January 2010, as compared with the year before, transit officials said.

Riders are tripping when boarding and stepping off the new coaches.

There are handrails for boarders to grab onto, but the unsteady riders aren’t using them, said Joseph Smith, the MTA’s bus chief.
MTA board member Mark Page noted at a committee meeting yesterday, “You see steps in front of you, and you pay attention. You don’t see steps in front of you, and you launch yourself to the pavement.”

The accident spike happened as the MTA introduced 861 new, low-floor buses into the system last year, officials said. The number of injuries has already leveled out from January to the present.

I found the brief report interesting as I immediately wondered if the mental psyche was the cause of these minor accidents. I think the rider’s mind has been so trained to board buses with steps, that they do not know how to react to something that is not really there. Hopefully they will make the adjustment as no one wants to see people get injured or even worse, sue the MTA for illegitimate reasons.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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