City buses go one year with only one accident

Albany Transit Operators celebrated the fact they had only one chargeable accident between December 2009 and December 2010

A bus system transporting visitors to Disney recently experienced their third accident in the past year, but in Albany, city buses have had only one chargeable accident between Dec. 2009 and Dec. 2010.

"It feels great to be appreciated and noticed for the work that we've done," says Para-Transit Operator Helen Madison.

Transit Director Dwain Cosby says he doesn't recall what the accident was: He arrived in July of 2010 and says there hasn't been an accident on his watch.

Transit Operator Charlie Jackson â" who's been driving Albany buses for nearly 20 years â" attributes the safe driving record to the defensive driving courses operators receive every three years.

"It teaches you what to look out for, what do expect and coming to you at an intersection. They have what they call a 'what if' factor: What if a car does this or what if a pedestrian does this?" Jackson says.

Madison says being attentive to both passengers and other drivers is important when driving city buses because "anything can be happening behind you," she says.

Operators say riders already feel safe on their buses and should now feel even safer knowing the operators have a safe driving record.

"They have safe drivers and they can feel secure and always know they're always welcome to get on our bus and know they won't have to worry about reckless driving," says Madison

Jackson says he wants to make sure passengers are safe because he considers them family.

"Whenever one is missing and I haven't seen them in a certain period of time, then I'm looking for them, and when they get on I ask where they've been and what they've been doing. Sometimes I may even ask where they're going," he says.

Cosby says he's proud of his family at Albany Transit.

"I'm very proud of the fact that not many transit agencies can say they've had a record like that so I'm very proud of our operators," Cosby says.

There have been no chargeable accidents on city buses in the last six months, and they say they hope it stays that way for the next year.