• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • In Light Of Crashes, We Should Not Make Buses More Safe

    March 18th, 2011
    seatbelts, transit  [html]
    There have been several recent crashes of chinatown-style [1] buses:
    In September, four people died after a Megabus driver missed his exit for a depot in Syracuse, N.Y., and smashed into a low bridge on an unfamiliar parkway. Last Saturday, a bus swerved off Interstate 95 in New York City and was sliced in two by a pole, killing 15. On Monday, a bus drove off the New Jersey Turnpike and struck a bridge support, killing the driver and a passenger. -- AP
    The article quotes Jacqueline S. Gillan, vice president of the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety:
    [she] is calling for better safety standards. She urged lawmakers to adopt rules that would require motor coaches of all types to be equipped with seat belts and to have stronger roof-strength standards.

    "Motor coach accidents don't happen that often, but when they do happen, they are catastrophic," she said.

    Unfortunately, higher physical safety standards for buses would not make travel safer. These bus lines are doing very well (6% growth) mostly because people are taking the bus instead of driving. It's less that they enjoy taking the bus, and more that the buses are really cheap. Even being really cheap, however, they are far safer [2] than private cars. Requiring seatbelts and stronger roofs would be expensive, raising the price of bus tickets compared to cars. This would mean more people would drive instead, and more people would die in traffic accidents.

    [1] Buses operating low cost express service between city centers, generally with curbside pickup and dropoff

    [2] The problem is that when they crash it is unusual and may kill a bunch of people at once, and so makes the news. Airplanes have this problem too.

    Update 2012-11-24: As Julia points out, the government shut down the buses and we, at least, switched to driving.

    Comment via: facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Governance in Rich Liberal American Cities

    Matt Yglesias has a blog post called Make Blue America Great Again, about governance in rich liberal states like New York and California. He talks about various good government issues, and he pays a lot of attention specifically to TransitMatters and our …

    via Pedestrian Observations November 19, 2020

    Collections: Why Military History?

    This week, I want to talk about the discipline of military history: what it is, why it is important and how I see my own place within it. This is going to be a bit of an unusual collections post as it is less about the past itself and more about how we st…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry November 13, 2020

    Misalignment and misuse: whose values are manifest?

    Crossposted from world spirit sock puppet. AI related disasters are often categorized as involving misaligned AI, or misuse, or accident. Where: misuse means the bad outcomes were wanted by the people involved, misalignment means the bad outcomes were wan…

    via Meteuphoric November 13, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact