FTA recommends new bus safety rules due to bigger Americans

Series 5000 rail car seats.jpg

Due to the “expanding girth” of Americans, the Federal Transit Authority Administration is recommending a hefty 25 pound increase in the assumed average weight of Americans, according to a USA Today report:

The Federal Transit Authority (sic)  proposes
raising the assumed average weight per bus passenger from 150 pounds to
175 pounds, which could mean that across the country, fewer people will
be allowed on a city transit bus.

The transit authority, which regulates how much
weight a bus can carry, also proposes adding an additional quarter of a
square foot of floor space per passenger. The changes are being sought
“to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger,” the
agency says.

Regular followers of CTA Tattler know that many readers and myself are concerned about the “bucket seats” on the new Series 5000 rail cars with long rows of aisle-facing seats. That’s because you don’t really have to be more than just about 10 pounds “overweight” to spill out over the edges of the bucket seats. This really just proves that the CTA should consider bench seating with no defined areas for your butt.

Hat tip to Scooter Libbby for alerting me on the story.


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  • This is why I'm against the sideways seats.
    They're too narrow & this is going to cause fewer seat positions when all the really wide people sit down, which will mean more standees & far more crowded buses & trains.
    With the forward/backward seats, you can in most cases, sit on the aisle seat & overhang into the aisle. That's eliminated with this new & foolish seat arrangement.

    Just remember that neither the CTA board or management who chose this are regular riders. Some of the board haven't the faintest idea of how to insert a swipe card into a farebox.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I'm not really against the sideways seats. I'm against the "bucket seats" with fairly narrow defined spaces. I think the idea is to increase capacity, and this type of seating will do that with more standing room. I'll grant you there will be fewer seats, but when people are trying to get home from work or got to/from a Cubs or Sox game, they are looking to get on the train, not necessarily to get a seat.

    Also, I originally failed to recognize that Scooter alerted me to this story in the first [lace. I have since corrected that.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    CTA and Pace both said (about 2007) that they were putting in fat bottom seats on the buses, with about 18-1/2" width.*

    On the bus front, I'm sure "fewer people will be allowed on a city transit bus" is meaningless, since the CTA's standard is that until someone's butt prevents the front door from closing, passengers can board. Heck, the line across the aisle in the front isn't enforced.

    I'm sure someone will now say that this is why the NABIs cracked. Probably not, though.

    As far as the Ls, as discussed yesterday, whatever campaign there might be is over, at least unless Rahm puts in someone new at the CTA before the order is finalized. Probably not even in that eventuality.
    *I don't know if the first 1000s that got the regular seats were retrofitted.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Minor point (and not directed at Kevin), but you have demonstrated the danger of sourcing anything from the USA Today - there is no such entity as the Federal Transit Authority. (I assume they meant the Federal Transit Administration)

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Due to constant press inaccuracies, I always check for the original before I cite anything from the FTA. In this case, it is here.

    The "news" usually points me in the right direction, but you can't trust it.

  • In reply to jack:

    If you read the original in the Federal Register, you'll note that it dealt with bus testing, not bus seats.

    Hence, my NABI point was closer in point to anything said here. It is, of course questionable whether the NABIs really passed the mandated test.

  • In reply to jack:

    Wow, 150? That's got to be assuming there are kids boarding because saying the average weight of people is 150 is really low in my opinion.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I agree with Scooter's feelings against the sideways seats (they make me dizzy), but I have to cry foul on his editorial comment.

    It is well known and documented that the seat design was chosen during Frank Kruesi's tenure as President (not during three-car-Huberman's regime). It is also equally documented (and commented on here) that Kruesi usually rode CTA at least 4 times a day, generally making 80-120 rides per month (as indicated by his riding pass usage, which was FOIA'd and reported on several times). The board ridership was abysmal.

    Make your point, Scooter, but don't make up facts.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Just because Kruesi "rode" the CTA four times a day, doesn't mean he rode it the way we do.
    He is after all, the guy who let the L system collapse into a disaster. He's the fool who made the decisions to rebuild the unnecessary Wellington station instead of moving the Belmont platforms farther south & opening up a south entrance to Belmont. That would have saved millions. Kreusi also made the idiotic decision not to straighten out the Diversey Kink.

    Kreusi nearly destroyed the CTA's rail system by not doing the necessary maintenance.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Thanks District. You are correct on FT Administration. I should have caught that. Now corrected.

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