Department of Transportation suggests the average bus passenger is heavier now

This final note today. The Department of Transportation wants to change the way it writes the rules for buses, specifically to reflect the fact that Americans weigh more than we used to. Buses are tested now for safety and structural integrity, assuming an average passenger weight of 150 pounds. The government wants to up that to 175.

Good magazine first noticed the proposed change. They also discovered that the current standards were based on weight data collected back in 1960. Expanding waistlines also create a volume problem. The government wants to increase the floor space used per standing passenger from 1.5 square feet, to 1.75.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation