America’s increasingly overweight population threatens safety of public transportation

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elephant in bus

Here's a new worry to occupy your mind while you ride the city bus. Rather than dwell on the potential for traffic accidents or icky germ exchanges, you can now ride easy knowing the entire vehicle could collapse under the seismic weight of its passengers. Think this is an exaggeration? Well, the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) sure doesn't.

For years the FTA has been assuming that the "average" bus passenger weighs 150 pounds, but now to account for our expanding beer bellies, they're upping it to 175. The Transit Authority is also proposing additional regulations, such as adding an additional quarter of a square foot of floor space per passenger. According to the agency,  all of these potential changes are "to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger." Sure, this isn't really surprising news by any means. (We've been reading "fat American" stories for years.) But we'll definitely consider walking to the grocery store next time instead.