You’re not crazy: The buses are talking to you.
On Wednesday, at a brief ceremony at 2nd and Market, SEPTA announced the start of its 4th annual Safety Awareness Day. At this event, members of the media were given a demonstration of how this new safety feature works on a bus decorated with the slogans, “Take Safety Along When You Ride” and “Make the Safe Choice.”
When a bus is turning, a bright strobe will flash and an audible recorded announcement which says “Pedestrians Bus is Turning” will be made.
After a successful start of the systems pilot program they hope to have the system installed on all of its buses by later this year.
In his remarks, SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel said that during that morning’s rush hour four hundred SEPTA employees distributed educational materials and answered safety questions at more than 100 SEPTA rail, trolley and bus stations, loops and transportation centers throughout the five-county service area.
For this year’s safety day, SEPTA was focusing in particular on buses but they stressed a need for safety awareness for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
“We train our operators to share the road and be alert for cyclists… but bike and transit safety is not a solo effort,” Knueppel in his remarks.
This year, SEPTA partnered with Indego, the Bicycle Coalition and Operation Lifesaver, a national organization working to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings.
Our Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart was also on hand to show the Coalition’s support of SEPTA’s safety efforts.
“We applaud SEPTA for its leadership in promoting safety between bicyclists and for making considerable effort to improve connections between bicycle and transit facilities. SEPTA’s Cycle-Transit plan and capital program are resulting in better bicycle parking at Regional Rail stations and transit hubs,” Stuart said.
Also for this year, SEPTA put out a useful safety video to guide cyclists on how to navigate the roads along with buses.
I’ve been a cyclist for almost 25 years through the city, with varied commutes throughout. I think this is a great message. Throughout those 25 years, the problems I’ve had with SEPTA buses hasn’t had anything to do with turns, bike lanes or awareness, but the mentality of the bus driver. They’re bigger, they get the right of way. I’ve been pushed around many times by a bus. One time that I did complain SEPTA got back to me and verified the chain of events via the camera on the bus! We have a right to be on the road. All we ask is to be respected!
For the record, I behave like a car when I ride (ride with traffic, stop at stop signs, red lights, etc) It keeps me safe.