Saturday, November 03, 2007
Port Authority Bus Hit by Student
Smashed glass. A dented bumper. Chipped paint. These are the signs of an all too familiar occurrence -- another case of a Port Authority Transit (PAT) bus struck and injured by a University of Pittsburgh freshman. The most recent victim, a 54C making its way from the Strip District to the North Side, was hit by Jared Walker (age 18 of Boyertown, PA) as the 54C proceeded through the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard.
"I never saw him coming," claimed 54C driver Frank Visor. Bystanders state that the 54C had just proceeded through a green light and turned right onto Bigelow Blvd. when, without warning, Walker stepped from the sidewalk and collided with the oncoming bus. Witnesses credit Visor's quick reflexes with saving the bus from further harm by swerving away from Walker and into the path of oncoming traffic.
Even with Visor's efforts to protect the bus, the 54C suffered a scuffed bumper and several noticeable scratches above the right tire.
"I've never seen anything like it," commented bystander Allen Geller. "I don't know that I'll ever see that bus back in action again. It was horrible. Horrible."
Visor, who has since been reassigned to a 71D, appeared visibly shaken from his experience and required several pints of an unidentified German lager before he was able to continue on his new bus route. "Let's just hope someone does something about these kids before another innocent bus suffers," Visor concluded.
This most recent incident of a bus/freshman collision brings this semester's total to three such incidents and represents an alarming increase over last year's numbers. PAT CEO Stephen G. Bland addressed this disturbing increase at a recent press conference.
"We've gone to great lengths to avoid such unfortunate occurrences," stated Bland. Most notably, he highlighted the signs now posted at the front of each bus reminding drivers to "look right and left" before proceeding down all streets.
"We take these precautions seriously and stress that our drivers should also take them seriously. Yet damage to buses by freshmen is at an all time high," Bland said. "Some of these injured buses may never recover. I just don't understand it. It's almost as if [the freshmen] are aiming for the buses."