Yesterday MassBike, along with representatives from other advocacy groups and the City of Boston met with the MBTA bus training personnel to have a long talk about bus safety. In a very productive and wide ranging talk, we got to know a lot about the how the MBTA handles bus safety, specifically safety around cyclists.
Cyclists often see bus drivers as “the enemy.” For any of a number of reasons cyclists and bus operators have not always have the best of relations. In reality though cyclists and bus drivers should be allies. Cyclists often tell us they would like to see less cars on the street, every bus is full of people who didn’t drive that day.
We learned a lot about what the procedures are currently, and talked about how we could hook into their current training system to improve and extend the training that bus drivers get when it comes to safety around cyclists. They were very responsive and we left the meeting feeling good about the future of bicycle/bus relations.
We are working with the MBTA to develop training scenarios that they can use in driver training/re-certification. We are also working with them to help them craft their safety policies when it comes to interactions with cyclists. There are plans to improve and expand the amount of safety information available over the internet, as well as the development of some handy guides for both cyclists and drivers on how to stay safe.
We were impressed by the candor and openness of the MBTA officials to improving the safety training that their drivers get. MassBike is going to continue to work closely with the MBTA on this issues, stay tuned for more information about this.