PTS Operations Director Krista Barry displaying the S-1 GARD Dangerzone Barrier

PTS Unveils S-1 GARD Dangerzone Barrier at Busworld 2015 in Belgium

PTS formally unveiled its new S-1 GARD Dangerzone Barrier for the European market at Busworld 2015, held in Kortrijk, Belgium. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, according to PTS Operations Director Krista Barry, who represented the company at the expo.

Ideal for low-floor buses, the S-1 GARD Dangerzone Barrier covers the entire gap between the front and rear wheels. Cast from heavy-duty urethane, the Barrier is strong enough to deflect pedestrians and cyclists from the path of the wheels, yet flexible enough to withstand impact from road obstacles. A patented energy absorption mounting receiver allows for barrier movement against impact for, is customizable to fit any compatible frame, and is guaranteed for the life of the bus.

Additionally, Busworld featured an article on the "impressive" S-1 GARD in their daily publication distributed during the show, the Busworld Daily Times. Click on the thumbnail at left to view larger.

Since 1971, Busworld has been held every two years in Kortrijk, Belgium. With over 40 years of experience, it is the oldest and most renown bus and coach exhibition. In 2001, Busworld went worldwide and now has five sister exhibitions covering all continents.

Supplier of the Year Malte Månson: Tomas Svensson (far right, with award) with CEO Dan Nilsson and Lisa Johansson

Malte Månson Receives Industry's Top Award For S-1 GARD in Sweden

Swedish S-1 GARD distributor Malte Månson was awarded with the highest Traffic Safety Award for Supplier of the Year at the 2015 Transport Forum, the premier Scandianvian public transport industry conference, held on January 8 in Linköping, Sweden. The prize was awarded in recognition of its work outfitting hundreds of Keolis buses throughout Sweden with the S-1 GARD, which was made possible through their partnership with Keolis Sverige, Sweden’s largest private operator. The ceremony was covered by the Mentor Newsroom (in Swedish).

Earlier in the week, Swedish National Radio (Sverige Radio) aired a report about the S-1 GARD, in which Keolis area business manager Michael Svensson was interviewed. “If we can save one life, it is worth every penny and dime,” Svensson explained. “It is important.” Additonally, he confirmed that every Keolis bus will be fitted with the S-1 GARD by August 2015. The story and interview can found here (in Swedish).

New Impact-Resistant Energy Absorption Receiver: Designed for Durability

PTS recently unveiled its patented new impact-resistant energy absorption receiver, which allows the GARD to withstand direct impact and abuse. The new model was developed specifically for cities like New York, which encounter an array of obstacles such as curbs, potholes, and degraded road conditions. The receiver is now spring-loaded and moves forwards and backwards, as opposed to the fixed channel mount of previous models.

In addition, the GARD mold has been modified for casting urethane thinner in order to add more flexibility for potholes, curbs, and degraded road condititions. This new maintenance-friendly design supersedes all previous models and is guaranteed for the lifespan of the bus.

PTS Designing European prototype for MAN Bus

On the heels of successful pilot program in Stockholm, Sweden, PTS and distributor Malte Månson are developing a prototype that will accommodate all buses manufactured by German OEM MAN throughout Europe. Meanwhile, private operators Keolis and Nobina, two of the largest bus operators in Scandinavia, are engaged with PTS and Malte Månson to retrofit their fleets with the S-1 GARD.

Michael Hays of PTS inspects installation on a Keolis bus in Stockholm

Stockholm Completes Successful Pilot Program

The S-1 GARD was recently tested in the largest metropolitan area in Sweden. Stockholm installed the device on 100 buses and after reporting no problems over 14 months, is moving forward with the project. Private operator Keolis, who is a multinational bus operator, was the first to install in Sweden, and is now involved in the ongoing R&D with Swedish public transit OEMs in accommodating the S-1 GARD's cyclist and pedestrian safety device.

SF Muni Excels in Operator Awareness

According to S-1 GARD distributor Trolley Support, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency drivers are keeping their fleet of over 800 S-1 GARD-equipped buses well-maintained. Muni drivers are trained to perform a safety inspection of their buses, and buses with any safety deficiencies - including the S-1 GARD - are immediately sent to maintenance for repair, underscoring the public need for the safety device. According to Trolley, the S-1 GARD's exclusive distributor in San Francisco, this mandatory safety inspection has resulted in increased operator awareness of the S-1 GARD and its purpose, and of proper maintenance.

PTS Congratulates Montebello

PTS congratulates Montebello, California's Montebello Bus Lines on being the industry leader in operator awareness and safe driving practices. PTS has observed high levels of professionalism among its operators, and accordingly, Montebello has the lowest replacement ratio in the country. Montebello was the first ever to retrofit for the S-1 GARD, and has reported zero rollover incidents since its initial installation. Montebello Bus Lines is the third-largest municipal transit agency in Los Angeles County, serving 14 communities.

Major Theme Parks are Retrofitting

As evidence of the growing attention paid to the risks of the Danger Zone, major theme parks have begun retrofitting their fleets to accommodate the S-1 GARD. Theme parks often are counted among the largest bus fleets in their regions, transporting millions of visitors over millions of miles annually, cumulatively.

Nigeria Becomes First in Africa to Install

Nigerian businessman Dr. Donald Obaseki recently visited Southern California in advance of the retrofit of transit buses in Lagos, Nigeria, with the S-1 GARD. Obaseki inspected buses in both the LAMTA and Montbello Bus Lines (pictured) fleets, consulting with technicians for both.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus

California Leads U.S. in S-1 GARD Installations

Despite increasing adoption across the country, California transit agencies continue to lead the way in Danger Zone safety.

The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus relies on the S-1 GARD to help safely carry more than 70,000 passengers daily, including sizable numbers of tourists and seniors. Big Blue Bus has been proactive in maintenance of the S-1 GARD, undertaking periodic fleet-wide campaigns to replace damaged parts. Santa Monica is also home to an elaborate network of bike lanes and paths - which have proven to be no issue for the Big Blue Bus.

In Los Angeles, the LAMTA has installed S-1 GARDs on its fleet of over 2,000 largely NABI and New Flyer buses - the second-largest bus fleet in North America. Yet despite the challenge of operating a fleet of that size, the MTA has been proactive in replacing damaged GARDs and raising driver awareness of past incidents, and their role in preventing future ones.

The Riverside Transit Agency provided training to its operators to heighten awareness of the Danger Zone and of the safe driving required to both avoid its risks and to keep the S-1 GARD in optimal condition. The district has since reported a very low replacement ratio, not just for the S-1 GARD, but also from rear bus components such as airbags, air leveling valves, tires, rims, and rear wheel panels.

More recently, Santa Clara has spec'd in the S-1 GARD on new buses.

Transportation Alternatives

Bicycle Advocates Demand the S-1 GARD

As evidenced by the number of major metropolitan transit districts retrofitting their buses with the S-1 GARD, bus operators around the country attest that the S-1 GARD is an effective contributor to Danger Zone safety, successfully mitigating catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Accordingly, bicycle advocacy groups are requesting the S-1 GARD.

And the facts back them up: according to the Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, the prevalent type of accident involving transit buses without the S-1 GARD and individuals is pedestrians or cyclists falling in the path of and/or being pulled under the wheel. Further necessitating such a safety device is pure physics: according to Bernoulli's principle, a decrease in air pressure between larger object, such as a bus, and a smaller object, such as a bicycle, is created when passing in close proximity, resulting in a force that can pull a bicycle towards a bus.

PTS is proud to have the support of the nation's leading bicycle advocacy groups - groups like New York's Transportation Alternatives, the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and the League of American Bicyclists, to name a few.

Honolulu Completes Pilot, Moves Forward With Install

After a successful pilot program, TheBus of the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, is now installing the S-1 GARD on all new bus orders, and is contemplating a retrofit on existing ones. TheBus features over 500 transit buses, and boasts an annual ridership of 74.5 million.

Santa Clara VTA Reports Safety Success

Santa Clara (California) Valley Transportation Authority General Manager Michael Burns offers the following testimonial:

"The S-1 GARD has become an important part of VTA's position to provide our ridership, pedestrians, and bicyclists protection from injury caused by rear tire rollovers. Since 2011 all new buses arriving at VTA have been installed with S-1 GARDs.

Its ease of installation, durability, and design have made it a huge success in adding to VTA's strong stance on safety initiatives."

S-1 GARD in Stockholm Metro

S-1 GARD Being Implemented in Sweden

The S-1 GARD was prominently featured in the February 22, 2013, edition of Metro, Stockholm's largest newspaper. (click to view)

Spotlight: Capital Metro/Travis Transit (Austin, TX)

Capital Metro and Travis Transit both installed the S-1 GARD in 2005. Prior to that, Capital Metro was averaging one severe accident or fatality every year. Since installing the S-1 GARD, they have reported zero right rear wheel incidents. Capital Metro and Travis Transit have familiarized drivers with both the Danger Zone and the S-1 GARD, and their care has helped keep the S-1 GARD effective against the dangers of the Danger Zone, in an area with a sizable university population.

A WMATA driver with S-1 GARD-equipped bus

Spotlight: WMATA (Washington, DC)

Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), whose 1,480-bus fleet provides over 400,000 trips daily, first installed the S-1 GARD on its entire fleet in 2000. Prior to the retrofit, WMATA was experiencing an average of two fatalities per year in the Danger Zone, resulting not only in the loss of life, but also an average of USD $550,000 annually in litigation costs, on top of negative publicity. Since then, WMATA has reported no right-rear wheel fatalities.

Ron Keele, Director of Passenger, Vehicle, Fire Life Safety and Emergency Management, contributes this safety record to human factor and safety engineering technology. "When people see the device, they stay away from the rear wheel," reports Mr. Keele. "Risk statistics indicate that two to three people per year would have been injured or worse by falling beneath the right rear wheel of the bus if these devices had not been installed."

Walk San Francisco

Pedestrian Advocates Demand the S-1 GARD

After year after year of numerous bus-on-pedestrian accidents involving the right rear wheel of transit buses, the nation's leading pedestrian advocacy groups have put their support behind the S-1 GARD for proven and effective Danger Zone safety.

Studies have shown that, in accidents involving transit vehicles and with pedestrians, the predominant type of accident involves pedestrians being pulled into the bus wheel, as opposed to being struck by the vehicle body. According to Christopher W. Ferone of the American Society of Automotive Engineers, approximately 85% of bus wheel accidents occur at the right rear wheel, or the curbside wheel. "This accident occurs in various scenarios such as when people exit the bus and become entangled in the door grab bars, or when they fall between the curb and the bus while it approaches or departs," he writes. "With all scenarios, the S-1 GARD acts similar to a cow catcher, pushing the fallen pedestrian out and away from the rear tire." It is estimated that 40–100 people are seriously injured this way annually in the United States.

PTS is proud to have the support of the nation's leading pedestrian advocacy groups - groups like New York's Transportation Alternatives, Walk San Francisco, and PEDS.

Increasing Public Road Hazards Disproportionately Affect Senior Citizens; Seniors Demand Safer Streets

With a vast majority of public transit organizations offering reduced fare programs for senior citizens, seniors are one of the largest demographic groups that rely on public buses. But municipal budgets are being slashed across the country, and basic maintenance of right-of-way properties is often deferred or neglected - and seniors are most susceptible to the byproducts of that neglect.

Pedestrians can trip in potholes, on broken or degraded curbs and storm drain openings, over sidewalk panels raised by tree roots, over uncompleted construction, and more. Many roads don't even have sidewalks. Factors like reduced available street crossing times exacerbate the injurious effects of these hazards - factors that hit seniors the hardest. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, people age 70 or older have a higher rate of death from being hit by cars than any other age group.

A number of organizations are working to improve the safety of public streets, including the National Complete Streets Coalition, Transportation Alternatives' Safe Routes for Seniors, and AARP.


S-1 GARD Installed at Major Airports

The S-1 GARD has recently been installed on articulating passenger transport buses at major international airports, including LAX, as seen at left.

PTS Introduces MDZ Shield For School Buses

PTS founder Mark B. Barron has introduced an affordable new solution to eliminate the danger zone gap surrounding the right dual wheels of the school bus: The Minimize Danger Zone Shield (or MDZ Shield). The “danger zone” refers to the area extending 10 feet to the front, rear and side of the school bus, where children are at most risk of being hit by passing vehicles or by their own bus. The MDZ Shield is an inexpensive BASF polyurethane guard that acts as a safeguard in front of the rear dual wheels. The shield is easily and quickly mounted to the side panel of the bus, lessening both material and labor costs and makes it easily visible for inspection.

Buckeye Central Schools in New Washington, Ohio, recently became the first school district in the nation to pilot the safety device. The MDZ Shield has been featured in The Street, School Transportation News and School Bus Fleet, among others. For more information, visit