Photo of exemplar transit bus at crash location.

​Exemplar transit bus at crash location. Articulated bus is turning from Avenue D onto East Houston Street, same location and same maneuver crash bus was executing when it struck pedestrian.​

Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Transit Bus

What Happened

​​About 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, a 2012 Nova Bus articulated transit bus operated by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was traveling south on Avenue D on the Lower East Side of New York City. As the 57-year-old male driver approached the intersection of Avenue D and East Houston Street, the traffic signal for southbound vehicles was red. The bus stopped in the left-turn lane, the second vehicle in line. According to interviews, while the bus was stopped, a passenger walked to the front and, standing forward of the white standee line, began to talk to the driver.

When the traffic signal turned green, the driver pulled the bus into the intersection, then stopped to yield to oncoming traffic. On a WALK signal, a 73-year-old female pedestrian stepped into the crosswalk from the curb on the northeast corner and began walking south across East Houston Street. The bus driver and the passenger continued to talk. The pedestrian crossed the westbound traffic lanes and stepped onto the concrete median. When she stepped off the median to cross the eastbound lanes, the driver executed a left turn onto East Houston Street (figure 1). By that time, the pedestrian signal was flashing DON’T WALK. The right front bumper of the bus struck the pedestrian in the eastbound lane, 77.5 feet from the northeast curb.1 The pedestrian was dragged beneath the bus a short way before it stopped. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene and her body transported to the Manhattan Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City for an autopsy.

​The temperature at the time of the crash was 61°F, the wind was from the east-northeast at 9 mph, and the sky was overcast. The sun had risen at 6:57 a.m.​

What We Found

​The probable cause of the crash in New York City, New York, was the bus driver’s failure to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian in the marked crosswalk. Contributing to the crash was distraction caused by a passenger on the bus and the driver’s failure to adhere to the company policy that prohibits drivers from talking to passengers while a bus is in motion.​