NYC Buses Set to Get New Safety Technology, in Test Program

NEW YORK (AP) -
A new MTA bus at a bus depot in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
A new MTA bus at a bus depot in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Safety technology that would warn pedestrians that a bus is turning or help bus drivers avoid collisions is coming to some New York City buses.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will start two programs to test the technologies, with the goal of eventually using them on a large scale.

The pedestrian turn warning system will be installed on 200 buses, the first 40 by the end of the year. The collision avoidance system will go on 100 buses. Twenty buses will have that technology by year-end.

Bus drivers have said the design of the vehicles, with their large side mirrors and thick pillar frames, can make it difficult to see pedestrians while making turns.

The turn warning system would be automatically put into use when a bus turns, sending an audio warning through external speakers to alert pedestrians and bicyclists. The MTA also is looking to add a visual warning. The pilot buses will be on routes in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

The collision avoidance system uses sensors and cameras to warn a bus driver of vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians on the sides or front of the bus. The pilot program will be on bus routes in Brooklyn and Manhattan.