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Union: Bus mirrors unsafe, drivers can't see outside

Running for the bus might not be worth the risk.

A replacement mirror on express buses has left drivers unable to see passengers outside the vehicle, raising fears that someone will get hit, workers and union officials said.

“They are not safe. It blinds your vision,” said Santos Garcia, a Brooklyn bus driver.

Last year, NYC Transit started replacing broken mirrors on express buses with a more affordable model, union officials said. The mirrors are now used on dozens of express buses across the city, which serve more than 78,000 riders on average weekdays, according to the most recent transit data.

But drivers say they can’t see the curb or passengers running to catch the bus when the door is open, as the mirrors stick out at a different angle. Transport Workers Union Local 100 officials collected 20 complaints about the mirrors from just one Brooklyn bus depot last month.

“They should make sure that’s fixed,” said Liz Skaflestad, a Manhattan bus rider. “The MTA has got such serious money issues now, but safety has to be a big concern.”

There have been no reports of injury since the mirrors have been installed.

The windshield wipers don’t reach far enough to give drivers a clear look at the mirrors, making them unusable in bad weather, according to James Manzella, a union chairman for buses.

“It just makes it harder to see,” said Manzella, who filed a complaint about the mirrors last month.

Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said the mirrors had no safety or visibility problems, and got good marks from drivers when they were tested at three bus depots.

“(We) ensure the replacement mirrors … meet or exceed (equipment) standards,” Seaton said.

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