America's 'Expanding Girth' Threatens Vital Transportation SystemsS

Are you safe while riding a city bus? Ha, *scoffing sounds.* It turns out that your fellow passengers are placing you at risk of more than tuberculosis—risk of the entire bus just, like, falling apart. From too much girth.

The Federal Transit Authority had been generously assuming that the "average" bus passenger weighs 150 pounds. Unable to maintain that "I'm the same size I was in high school" facade any longer, they're raising that estimate to 175 pounds.

The transit authority, which regulates how much weight a bus can carry, also proposes adding an additional quarter of a square foot of floor space per passenger. The changes are being sought "to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger," the agency says.

"This change is really just a bow to reality," says Joseph Schwieterman, who studies bus ridership as director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago. "With no small number of bus passengers tipping the scale at 200 pounds or more, this is much more realistic."

Hey, American bus passengers, you look...good. You look good. Really, no, you look good, seriously.

[USAT. Photo: paddy patterson/ Flickr]