New 'talking buses' could be headed to Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — For the next month, people will hear buses talking to them as part of an experiment launched by The King County Metro Transit to protect pedestrians.

The Seattle Times reports that the agency has installed strobes and speakers on the exterior of buses that will run on Route 11, from downtown through Pike-Pine and Madison Park areas.

There were seven incidents reported in which turning buses struck pedestrians last year, and one in the first quarter of this year.

The agency will monitor the efficiency of the buses, which cost about $4000 per vehicle.

The frequent warnings have been set at 90 decibels, and the agency is looking to see how the added noise may affect those who live or relax nearby.