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Feds Changing Bus Capacity Rules Because Americans Are So Fat

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Wonkette operative “Allen E.” passes on this notice from the Federal Transit Administration about Americans being so fat now that the government standards for average passenger weight need to be “updated.” Because otherwise, the buses are going to fall apart under the strain of carrying today’s obese American:

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is proposing to amend its bus testing regulation to more accurately reflect average passenger weights and actual transit vehicle loads. Specifically, FTA is proposing to change the average passenger weight from 150 lbs to 175 lbs. In addition, FTA is proposing to change the floor space occupied per standing passenger from 1.5 to 1.75 square feet, and updating the Structural Strength and Distortion test procedures.

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne


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  • nounverb911

    I'm waiting for airlines to start charging passengers by the pound. The fatter you are, the higher the fare.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      That actually makes a lot of sense.

      • nounverb911

        New York Airways used to assign seats based on weight in their helicopters from the East Side to JFK.

        • Lascauxcaveman

          And the commuter 9-passenger flights I used to take all the time in to Seattle often started with the pilot moving "large" people fore and aft, and side to side, for balance.

          Oh, man, if looks could kill, I'd have seen a lot of dead young pilots.

          Anyway, FedEx and all the other freight forwarders charge by the pound, why not the airlines?

      • jrients

        I agree. I don't want to pay extra to lug my fatass around the skies, but it sure seems like the fair way to do things.

      • SorosBot

        But you can bet the fat folks who got outraged at being charged for two seats if they couldn't actually fit in a single seat would through another hissy fit; one that could topple the plane.

    • FLcolts18fan

      Good! I weigh 101# :)

    • Weenus299

      Fuck that, I'd never afford to fly again.

    • Sophist [teadacted]

      I'm waiting for airlines to start using biodiesel engines that run on liposuctioned body fat. It's the perfect solution!

      • JustPixelz

        A modest proposal indeed.

        • Sophist [teadacted]

          No, after the introduction of those scanners that let some TSA highschool dropout count the wrinkles on your pink starfish, I don't think there's any modesty left in flying.

  • PublicLuxury

    The extra twenty-five pounds is the weight of their 4 litre bottle of corn syrup and their take out order from Golden Corral

    • mayor_quimby

      The common man knows you can't git no takeout from the goldurn buffet!

  • MinAgain

    Maybe they should be walking, instead of riding the bus.

  • PublicLuxury

    I like fat people. I don't like republicans.

    Hopefully one is not a requirement for the other.

  • walstib

    Holy crap, teh poors r FAT!

    When r we gonna cum 2 r scences an mak teh fat poors walk lik reel Amuricans?

    Dam librels, alwayz codlin teh poors 4 vots

  • Doktor[redacted]

    The next step will be to license individual Fatass-Americans AS buses. From there, it's only a small step to giving them their own customized ZIP codes.

    • DaRooster

      And moons in orbits.

    • elviouslyqueer

      ZIP codes, hell. Try area codes (erm, no pun intended). They can start with 601, 662, 228, and 769.

  • CliveWarren

    Make the short bus longer by adding more back-of-the-bus to the end of it…

  • GuyClinch

    They need a box of some kind that you have to fit into before you're allowed onboard, like airports have for carry-ons. Maybe a coffin or something?

    • BaldarTFlagass

      like airports have for carry-ons.

      Those are merely decorative items, except on Lufthansa. If they still made steamer trunks, there'd be some selfish motherfucker trying to use one as a carry-on.

      • horsedreamer_1

        Fucking Germans! Nothing changes…

    • widestanceroman

      The door itself should suffice, but we all know how slippery sweaty oafs can be. so many will simply take up everyone's time wedging themselves through.

  • Badonkadonkette

    Well I was above average.

  • Sophist [teadacted]

    In related news, Satan is installing a new fire-suppression system because all the mid-westerners he keeps throwing in the lake of burning sulfur are starting to cause uncontrollable grease fires.

    • nounverb911

      Which level of hell is Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River?

      • Sophist [teadacted]

        Somewhere between the level for Unitarians and people who steal from the bank when they play Monopoly and the level for serial-killing cannibal tax-cheats.

  • el_donaldo

    Today we are all Samoans.

  • GuyClinch

    How else are you supposed to get to the casino?

  • Weenus299

    Somewhere, I wonder if there's a 50-pound woman willing to hook up with me so we can average 175 pounds.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Are you a Republican, &/or a Protestant minister crusading against the gay/other deviance in Louisiana? In that case, try the fourth grade.

      Otherwise, the Karen Carpenter Fan Club.

    • Negropolis

      You must be short.

  • Weenus299

    I'm not fond of flying anyway. Lounging around in airports loaded with double gin/tonics, however, I would do all fucking day.

  • hagajim

    Gives a whole new meaning to the term "mass" transit….I rode a bus once where someone had a mass movement.

  • mereoblivion

    Yo mama so fat, the sign on the bus say . . .

    • Ken Layne

      … she weighs, on average, 175 pounds.


      • horsedreamer_1


    • Negropolis

      …does not compute.

      …oh hell no.


  • BaldarTFlagass

    "You're either on the bus, or you're off the bus"

    Oh, yeah, OT but Kesey-related, RIP Owsley Stanley.

  • GuyClinch

    Speaking of transportation and idiots, I wonder how the Sarah-Palin-Pullover Day went yesterday. Anybody see any old Pontiac Grand Ams pulled over in protest?

    • the_problem_child

      The fact that you have 0 replies to date makes me happy.

      • GuyClinch

        Gah, well so much for that! Give me back my hymen!

  • EatsBabyDingos

    Makes me want a Triple Bacon Whopper with Cheese and a side of oblating catheter.

  • widestanceroman

    None if they simply hitched them, owner-occupied, to the back.

  • natoslug

    I'm not fat, just big-boned. My bones, however, are quite corpulent.

  • DashboardBuddha

    I'm a fatass…but I can make myself really small when I fly. If you happen to sit next to me I promise not to sweat on your or fart (unless you're into that.).


  • not that Dewey

    This is bad news for Hugo Reyes.

    • MissTaken

      He and Walter looked awfully happy Friday night….

      • not that Dewey

        If it were young Walt, they might be able to get away with it.

    • horsedreamer_1

      Manuel Uribe, also.

      • not that Dewey

        After reaching a peak weight of around 597 kg (1,320 lb) and having been unable to leave his bed since 2001…


        On the other hand, the "unable to leave his bed since 2001" may have rendered the "needing to ride the bus" moot.

  • donner_froh

    Specifically, FTA is proposing to change the average passenger weight from 150 lbs to 175 lbs.

    FTA is proposing FAT regulations. Its the ying/yang of the universe.

  • SorosBot

    This is good news for Haley Barbour.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Wall-E is such a visionary film.

  • proudgrampa

    As a frequent flyer with "big bones," I have been looking for an excuse to stop traveling. If the airlines did pull that stunt, charging by weight, that would do it for me (and others, I am sure). Airlines are already losing money as it is…

    • Lascauxcaveman

      … on fatasses like you, anyway. Jet fuel, 'at shit's getting expensive.

      But seriously, they would catch so much shit if they they did the logical thing and tried to charge by weight, just like when they decided to make folks pay to check a bag.

      • proudgrampa

        OUCH! I can't help my genetic inheritance, Caveman!

        My friend, we are all gonna PAY PAY PAY as time goes on…

        • Jukesgrrl

          Take an anorectic model as your guest and tell 'em to average you out.

  • chicken[redack]

    so — and let me get this straight — the hand-made sign that mean-spirited kids would tape onto the backs of larger children ("WIDE LOAD") is about to become law?

  • mavenmaven

    I would have thought that those thin meth and heroin users on public buses would have brought the average weight down.

    • Jukesgrrl

      In Tucson they certainly do. Not to mention, their teeth don't have to ride.

  • Moonbat

    I like a big bus and I cannot lie, etc.

  • lochnessmonster

    I think only upping the weight to 175 lbs. is generous at best. Should be more like 275 from what I see on the streets.

  • Beetagger

    We should also upgrade the carrying capacity of floaties and pool noodles in case of another tsunami.

  • DownFist Troll

    Tea party: This new regulation is a direct assault against our base!

  • XOhioan

    I live in Chicago. Oh thank fucking God.
    To clarify: Chicago Transit Authority got the bright idea to buy a fleet of narrow buses for better maneuverability. Aisles are a few inches less than your average Chicagoan. I wonder how many fat people knife fights have been caused by that foolish acquisition.

  • Jukesgrrl

    It's all that cedar cheese.

    • not that Dewey

      See, this is where I get confused between cellulose and cellulite. Which one is part of trees?

  • the_problem_child

    I am surprisingly happy to be the old average.

  • Negropolis

    per person, meaning the average of male and females combined. This weight wouldn't at all seem unreasonable until you've seen how big we've gotten just over the last decade. The average American adult man is now something like 5'9" at 190+ lbs. That just blows my mind.