17 March 2011

Growing girths cause FTA to change transit bus testing

As the waistlines of Americans grow larger, expect other things to grow larger too, like planes, trains, automobiles and buses. The Federal Transit Authority recently proposed municipal bus testing regulations be changed to "to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger."

To more accurately reflect bus passenger’s weight, The FTA is considering tacking on an extra 25 pounds, from 150lbs to 175lbs, while testing transit buses to ensure the vehicles can handle the stresses and strains of everyday transit service. The change would also add on an extra quarter of a square foot per passenger.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Coast Guard have also recently raised their passenger weight averages.

The FTA said that heavier passengers may result in changes to bus designs as companies may choose to upgrade tires and suspensions to withstand more weight. Vehicle upgrades, which have not been mandated at this time, could cost as much as $25,000 per bus the FTA said.

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City where she loves to check out all the vegan eateries. When she's not writing for TDIV, Robin enjoys taking dance lessons, reading, practicing yoga, hanging out with her cat Maggie, baking vegan treats, and volunteering at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

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