On any given weekday, 2.38 million New Yorkers ride a city bus. According to Metropolitan Transportation Authority data, the vast majority of them, 1,997,302, are passengers on one of the MTA’s five local routes serving Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. An additional 40,817 are passengers on one of the MTA express routes. The New York Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference reported in 2017 that in addition to MTA buses, 249 independent bus companies also operate in NYC.
That’s an enormous number of buses on NYC streets. At some level, most bus passengers realize that safely negotiating a huge bus through crowded traffic-filled NYC streets is no easy job. Nevertheless, they expect and deserve to be safe on their daily rides. Sadly, expectations and reality don’t always coincide. Bus accidents are not uncommon occurrences and 2017 was a bad year for them.
2017 Bus Accidents
On March 6, an MTA bus hit a 61-year-old woman who was crossing East Houston Street at Avenue D. She sustained numerous serious injuries including broken ribs, hip, pelvis and sternum, as well as internal bleeding. The bus driver, who was also hospitalized for trauma, was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian.
As reported by the Daily News, an MTA bus and a garbage truck collided in Brooklyn on May 15, injuring 15 people, two of them seriously. On June 21, the New York Post reported that an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn neglected to set the parking brake on his bus when he got off. The bus careened down the street – in reverse – and ultimately crashed into a church after hitting 10 vehicles and a pedestrian.
On September 18, the New York Times reported that a charter bus operated by Dahlia Travel and Tours, driven by a man who had been fired as an MTA driver in 2015, sped through a Queens intersection and struck an MTA bus. Three people were killed and 16 others were injured.
Fox News Channel reported that Marcus Brown, a decorated Iraq war hero and Brooklyn native, lost his life when he hit an MTA bus head-on on Staten Island. On Halloween, as also reported by the New York Times, a terrorist opened fire on a sunny Lower Manhattan bike path, hitting cyclists and joggers and mangling a school bus. This deadliest terror attack since September 11, 2001, resulted in at least eight fatalities and 12 injuries.
The safety record of NYC’s charter bus companies is alarming at best. The Independent Democratic Conference found that 121 of the 249 companies had received unsafe driving violations; 51 of them have accumulated numerous violations. The companies with the worst record, which includes Dahlia, the company involved in the fatal September 18, 2017, crash, had a total of 104 violations between 2015 and 2017. The 10 worst companies, in order of most to least violations are:
- Sagbus, Inc headquartered in Flushing, NY
- Yep Tour, Inc headquartered in Worcester, MA
- No 1 Bus Tour, Inc headquartered in New York, NY
- Safari Tour, Inc headquartered in Brooklyn, NY
- Soe Tour. Inc headquartered in Rockland, MA
- K Line Tours, LLC headquartered in Yonkers, NY
- Dahlia Group, Inc headquartered in Flushing, NY
- Eastern Coach, Inc headquartered in Hingham, MA
- Victoria’s Transportation Co., Inc headquartered in New York, NY
- Jet Tours USA, Inc headquartered in East Rutherford, NJ
With bus crash injuries occurring at an alarming rate, victims are filing ever more personal injury lawsuits against the MTA and the charter bus companies so as to be compensated for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and all the other financial difficulties that a serious injury can entail.
Families of those killed in these crashes likewise are filing ever more wrongful death suits so as to be compensated for the loss of their loved ones. While no amount of money can ever make up for someone’s death, the families say that prevailing in their suits gives them both a sense of justice and a sense of closure.
If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney or if you are an attorney who needs outside personal injury and wrongful death litigation help, please call Richard A. Dubi toll-free at 833-FOR-DUBI (833-367-3824).