New York City public school buses were involved in an astounding five accidents per day in 2011. These incidents, all the fault of the bus driver, caused more than 900 injuries and in each case.
According to a post at DNAinfo.com, the city’s Dept. of Education records show more than 1,700 school bus accidents were reported in 2011. This figure is only 40 percent of all school bus accidents reported in New York City each year, the others being the fault of another driver.
Based on the records released by the Dept. of Education, there are no details on just how many of the 900 injured were students. There is no indication what type of school bus was involved in the crash. Some of those injured could have been drivers or other passengers in addition to students. The reported accidents include anything from a fatality to a fender-bender where no damage to either vehicle occurs but is still logged. Many of the incidents involve minor mishaps, like a bus hitting a parked car, even just grazing another car’s mirror.
At the focus of the investigation are the 50-plus private bus contractors the city hires each year to handle the many bus routes in New York. According to the report, “Allied Transit Corp., the numbers show, was the most dangerous provider, with 19 accidents logged last year, even though it only drove 34 routes in the 2011-’12 school year — a ratio of more than one accident for every two routes.”
The figure for accidents involving Allied Transit buses is 18 times higher than another company hired by the city, Tufaro Transit. That company’s buses were involved in just three accidents on the record in 2011. The companies share the same amount of bus routes but have different results.
Another company, Amboy Bus Company, was involved in the most bus accidents last year, 408. The company gets 1,406 routes per year, making it an average of just about one accident for every three routes. Records indicate that other bus companies also seem to have a high number of accidents: Logan Transportation System buses were involved in 120 incidents last year and Little Richie buses were involved in 104 during 2011.
Each day, New York transports at least 170,000 students via bus to and from school.
The accidents caused by the bus driver – where they were deemed at fault – is actually dwarfed by the total number of accidents involving buses. The report cites Dept. of Education data showing that 60 percent of all the bus accidents reported last year were not the fault of the bus driver but of the other motorist. The department, despite the concerns from the public about the number of accidents, says that the rate of accidents per the number of trips taken each year by bus is relatively low. New York school buses make about 2.5 million trips during a 180-day school term.