Number of Bus Riders Rise, So Do Accidents

As more and more residents opt to utilize shuttle buses to get around the San Francisco area, attention has been drawn to the growing number of accidents these vessels have been involved with.

One such shuttle bus accident played out recently when one pulled out into the intersection of Eddy and Leavenworth streets in San Francisco. The bus collided with a pedestrian who was crossing the street within the boundaries of the cross walk.

A police investigation revealed that the pedestrian had the right of way. The injured man broke several bones after he was pinned under one of the bus wheels. The driver cooperated with law enforcement and did not receive a citation for the crash.

This latest accident is not an outlier. A man who drives a shuttle bus that transports students at the University of California, San Francisco recently pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide charges. He garnered these charges after striking and killing another driver in an accident. The victim was a 52-year-old associate professor at the school. The prosecution in the case alleged that the bus driver ran a red light, which prompted the fatal accident.

The shuttle bus industry has surged in the San Francisco area in the last few years. This means of transportation is especially frequented by both students and workers employed at offices in Silicon Valley. Even though the number of buses has increased, the city of San Francisco still does not regulate the industry.

However, city officials are looking into regulating it and are currently in the process of compiling the exact number of buses that operate in the area. It estimated that around 5,000 people use the buses to commute to the South Bay area alone. In 2009, this number was at 2,000.

Source: The Bay Citizen, "A Surge in Ridership and a Spate of Deadly Crashes," Zusha Elinson, Feb. 17, 2012

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