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June 13th, 2014
Bus Safety, Despite the Recent Noteworthy Accident, Still Very Good
By Dale Roethlisberger

Most are aware of the accident of a minibus that actor/comedian Tracy Morgan was on, with his friend, James McNair who died in that crash. We give our condolences to all those who have suffered as result of this terrible incident. Recent reports indicate that it was a large transport truck that rammed the minibus from behind and the driver of the truck appears to be the responsible party. Given the nature of the accident, it could very well be that the minibus itself may have actually helped saving additional lives in the wreck.

Even a minibus is more robust than most passenger cars and there are additional safety design features in most buses because they carry larger amounts of people generally. Certainly, these details can be argued. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that approximately a tenth of one percent (0.1%) of highway deaths occur on buses. Cars, motorcycles and trucks have much higher rates. In Fact, only commercial airline travel (I.e. not general/private aircraft) has a lower fatality rate per passenger mile.

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June 5th, 2014
Large Metropolitan Areas Need Bus Transportation
By Dale Roethlisberger

The well known motion picture title is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles “. However, they forgot to mention the bus. The bus carries more people and at a cheaper cost per person mile than it’s direct competitor, the automobile. The bus doesn’t need the costly terminals and sometimes inconvenient locations of trains and airplanes. From a cost and accessibility perspective, and as long as there are streets, the bus will remain an important component of the urban transportation scheme. Furthermore, we will likely need the bus as an alternative pathway to get to urban areas as well.

A useful example is the use of buses in urban mall contexts. Just limit traffic on a stretch of street in a commercial area and run shuttle buses up and down that street and you have it at a reasonable cost with little planning and relatively low impact to existing transport systems. Or, can you imagine large subway systems like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC without associated bus routes to enhance the overall transport matrix.

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