MBTA to retrain drivers after rise in bus accidents

The MBTA plans to retrain its drivers next month after an alarming number of bus crashes that injured customers.

There were 153 bus crashes in August, MBTA Chief Safety Officer Ron Ester said, and most involved collisions with other vehicles or “fixed objects” on the road, such as curbs, trees or utility poles.

Fifteen customers were injured that month, he told the T’s safety, health and environment subcommittee on Thursday, and steps are being taken to minimize the danger.

“Bus operations have organized training with the training school that will be implemented next month to talk about fixed object collisions and how to actually prevent it from happening,” Ester said. “We thought it was a really good step.”

Ester said his department has found that heavy traffic is a contributing factor to bus crashes, and the risk becomes greater in areas with a lot of stops.

He said that there were cases of cars hitting buses that were stopped, and vehicles hitting buses when turning.

According to Ta safety analysis data, bus route 121, which travels through East Boston, consistently experiences the most crashes. In August, there were 22.05 crashes per 10,000 miles on that route.

Talks are underway about possible changes to that route, which currently passes through narrow streets in areas with high traffic during peak hours, Ester said.

“Well, we’ll see how that works out,” he said.

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