New York City Transit Testing Fully Enclosed Cockpits to Protect Bus Operators
E-Mirror Cameras Installed on Five Buses to Prevent Side Mirror Collisions
View Photos of Prototypes
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today unveiled new prototypes designed to protect bus operators from potential assaults and prevent collisions with side mirrors. New York City Transit (NYCT) is testing and evaluating the efficacy of a fully enclosed operator compartment prototype for bus operators designed to cover operators by providing a sturdy, physical barrier separate from the public area. Since 2017 the entire local bus fleet has been equipped with physical barriers that partially enclose operators. The new protype extends the physical barrier to the interior roof of the bus and includes additional larger glass on the operator’s compartment door and a fixed glass in front of the door.
The device aims to protect bus operators from objects being thrown and prevent potential physical assaults to safely operate the bus. These elements allow the operator to be better protected and customers to have full access to the farebox for payment and accessible boarding. Two manufacturers have retrofitted two buses not currently in service respectively for ongoing testing and evaluation.
“Keeping bus operators and customers safe is paramount to NYCT’s North Star of providing faster, cleaner, and safer service,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “We’re excited to see the results from the testing period of these prototypes and look forward to continuing to innovate and modernize the system to protect everyone’s safety.”
“NYCT is committed to protecting bus operators by providing the safest working environment so they can deliver for their customers every day,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro. “Prevention is key to safety and the goal of these new design features on buses is to ensure operators remain safe from harm, while also protecting customers on their journeys to their destination.”
NYCT also announced that the agency has installed and is testing the effectiveness of e-mirrors on several buses now in service with the goal of reducing collisions. In 2022, bus side mirrors struck 18,000 objects totaling about 25% of all bus collisions. Using cameras located on the bus’s exterior, e-mirrors provide digital screens that show the surroundings of a bus to the operator, giving them a wider field of view on both sides of the bus. These new e-mirror prototypes have now been installed on five buses across a variety of routes in the system for testing and evaluation.
"A little over a year ago, Governor Hochul signed my bill S.9468, to protect transit workers against assault and harassment," said Senator Leroy Comrie. “I am pleased to see that the MTA/NYCT continue to make the protection of bus operators a top priority as they unveil prototypes that will enhance safety and help minimize potential collisions. The wellbeing of our transit workforce and the riding public is paramount to ensuring that our transportation systems are top-notch."
"Like airplanes, the pilots are protected, it's the same thing with the bus operators," said TWU Local 100 President Richard Davis. "We want to make sure bus operators come to work, go home safely, and be protected from the public."