An 81-year-old woman was fatally struck by a shuttle bus driver in Lower Manhattan yesterday evening.
According to police, Arlene Kalfus was pronounced dead outside her Battery Park City apartment at around 7 p.m. on Thursday, after she was hit by a bus driver traveling north on South End Avenue. The driver remained on the scene, and was not charged.
The Broadsheet spoke to friends of the victim, who described her as a former social worker who enjoyed classical music, yoga and museum trips. "Arlene played Mahjongg most Tuesdays. She was a peacemaker when that was called for," recalled Maryanne Braverman, a member of the Battery Park City Seniors group alongside Kalfus. "She was kind and caring.”
The bus is operated by the Downtown Alliance, which manages the nearby Business Improvement District and runs a free shuttle service around the perimeter of Lower Manhattan. In a statement, the group called the fatal crash "an enormous tragedy."
"Information is hard to come by right now and we are awaiting further information and details from the police department," the statement continued. "As we do so, our thoughts are with those who were close to Ms. Kalfus."
A spokesperson for the Downtown Alliance told Gothamist that the driver remains employed, but could face discipline pending the results of the police investigation.
Kalfus's death marks at least the 50th pedestrian or cyclist death on the streets of New York City in 2019 — a more than 30 percent increase from this time last year. Pedestrian deaths nationwide are the highest they've been in three decades.