Great communities include people walking, taking transit, bicycling, and even driving cars, and many people do all four. We need to ensure that no matter how we choose to get around, though, we can do so safely and with minimal conflict.
Collisions between buses and bicyclists in the East Bay are not common but they do happen (see here and here). Because of the size of a bus, the larger blind spots, and the greater turning radius rare collisions like these are more likely to result in serious injury or death of the cyclist. With a rapidly increasing number of people taking both to bikes and transit for transportation conflicts between buses and cyclists are likely to continue with increased frequency, so the time to act and prevent tragedies is now.
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition already offers a very robust and free series of safety classes for bicyclists in Alameda County and parts of Contra Costa County (www.ebbc.org/safety) but they will never be able to reach every cyclist. However, by also providing a similar type of training to AC Transit drivers on how to share the road safely and mitigate potential collisions we can ensure that every one of their professional drivers on the road in the East Bay has the information they need to help keep our streets and our transit safe and efficient.
This training should be made mandatory for every new driver hired, and a periodical requirement for continuing driver education.