Transit Bus riders' injuries on the rise as drivers swerve around NYC traffic, MTA says The MTA says that "customer accidents" are up on city buses as operators try to maneuver through traffic. Photo Credit: Todd Maisel By Vincent Barone firstname.lastname@example.org @vinbarone Updated September 23, 2019 8:10 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email The city’s chaotic streets are hurting bus riders. Commuters are being thrown about as MTA bus operators swerve around cars, pedestrians and cyclists, leading to an increase in “customer accidents” within the last year, according to the transit authority. Accidents per 1 million customers have increased from a rate of 1.26 to 1.45, when comparing the last 12 months of MTA data to the previous 12 months. Robert Diehl, the MTA’s senior vice president of the Safety and Security Department, attributed that rise to jerky movements as operators try to navigate clogged streets. “We’ve seen our largest increase … in a category that we have as ‘thrown by movement’ and that seems to be mostly due to operators trying to avoid cars, pedestrians and bicyclists,” Diehl said. Bus collisions and injuries stemming from those impacts are also trending slightly up over the last 12 months, according to MTA data. Collisions per 1 million miles are up from 53.99 to 54.62. Injuries per 1 million miles have increased from 6 to 6.11. Diehl said the MTA’s bus department has launched a safety poster campaign in depots where the trends are most pronounced and conducted undercover rides to monitor service. “Bus operations are trying multiple approaches in order to reduce these accidents,” he said. There were about 500 undercover rides in August and roughly 4,400 total this year, Diehl said. After several years when traffic deaths were at historic lows, the city has experienced a particularly dangerous 2019 on city streets. There has been a surge in cycling deaths, as well as year-to-date increases in pedestrian fatalities and overall traffic deaths, according to Police Department data. There have been 153 traffic deaths through the first half of September, compared to 128 deaths at that point last year — a 19.5% rise. Advocates have responded by calling for the mayor to more aggressively redesign streets to protect people biking and walking and hold reckless drivers more accountable. By Vincent Barone email@example.com @vinbarone Vin has been covering transportation at amNewYork since 2016. He first landed on the beat at his hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, in 2014. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Bus speeds aren't improving despite MTA promisesMonths after de Blasio's "Better Buses" plan was announced, advocates say the mayor appears checked out from overseeing improvements. MTA asks for patience during long-awaited signal upgradesThe agency is "not ruling out" closing entire lines to bring new signal systems to six corridors, but "that would be a last resort," NYC Transit President Andy Byford said. Officials warn against bus, subway service cutsThe authority has already reduced service on bus routes in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.