BusTalk Forum Index BusTalk
A Community Discussing Buses and Bus Operations Worldwide!
 
 BusTalk MainBusTalk Main FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups BusTalk GalleriesBusTalk Galleries   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Safe transit as I saw it

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Transit Employee Discussion, Information, & Issues
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
James Monaco



Age: 74
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:39 am    Post subject: Safe transit as I saw it Reply with quote

Hi, just wanted to give you an idea of what problem exists at Broward county transit at the moment. I wrote this to local paper as they had an issue of sorts at Broward transit that people were having, and came down on bus operators.This is to give you an idea of how this system works. As far as safety goes bus drivers not having enough time on a route does not help. Dealing with people can distract from safety of bus operation, wheel chairs,bikes,elderly people, because it all takes time.Being courteous to passengers is not easy because your frustrated trying to do something you don't have time to do. Schedules are to short and don't allow for breaks. This all has an effect on driver public relations and getting the job done right in all areas. We need more equipment and busses out there, and shorter headways.Better schedules for a safer less frazzled operation will improve relations with passengers and make bus operations safer. Okay, hope I didn't bore you guys,but this is what it is like, and were my thoughts on it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
timecruncher



Age: 66
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James, you seem to have left out the fact that funding at most transit agencies is tight. We cannot, in most cases, just add buses if we don't have staff or equipment available. Furthermore, union contracts often restrict what changes can be made between picks.

I drove buses for 23 years, and I haven't forgotten what it is like behind the wheel, dealing with traffic, schedules, wheelchairs, bikes, etc. Even so, my hands are tied when a trip or a few trips need help because I can't change a schedule without approval from above, changes often require public hearings due to Title VI and FTA regulations and because every driver handles a schedule differently.

It isn't always easy to make a generic schedule that both the veterans and newbies can work with some semblance of continuity.

My suggestion - and this is from 40+ years in this business - pace yourself. If you work a regular run, you'll know where you need to step it up or slow it down. Layover time is recovery time, it is not 'break' time. If you need to use the restroom, by all means do so, but do it within transit authority regulations to keep yourself out of trouble. If you get late, still drive at a pace you're comfortable with -- don't take chances and don't drive in a manner that could get you in trouble due to rough starts, stops, etc.

There have always been problem schedules, but traffic, wheelchairs, ADA regulations and silly-assed bike racks all contribute to frustration. Schedules can't be built to allow for all of these variables, and many transit agencies don't allow enough layover time to absorb potential delays.

Above all, drive the bus as if your family was on board.

timecruncher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
James Monaco



Age: 74
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:42 pm    Post subject: Transit issues Reply with quote

I guess your right and maybe where I came from was a lot different than here. During peak hours you had busses running more frequently. Here you don't have that. What's out there is all there is. After thirty years I think it should be a little further along than what it is.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
timecruncher



Age: 66
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of transit systems have a "standards" book or guideline that looks for 'clocked' headways. Yes, they look pretty, but they're useless if ridership varies more than 10% at different times of the day.

More than a few large transit agencies today also tend to build schedules not only at 'clocked' (IE - fixed headways such as 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 minutes between trips), but I've seen some large agencies - won't mention any names - where the schedulers use the same running time all day long from first trip to last trip.

That simply does not work, never did, and never will. It is what I refer to as "lazy scheduling." Running times between duepoints on a route can vary considerably at different times of the day, and with AVL data available at many transit systems, it is fairly easy to see what is going on out on the street if a scheduler wants to do his/her job well.

timecruncher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Tiny Tim



Age: 55
Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 54
Location: Cape Coral Fl

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Lee County fl (LeeTran)they use the clocked method. They just cut hours in the evening even with ridership up like 4 percent over last year. One route has a 2 hour window due to one bus (only two run it) being a split shift. It's always been that way is the reason. They cry they have no money yet new bus stop signs repainting buses just to repaint them(this came from several drivers I know)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
timecruncher



Age: 66
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bus stops and even bus painting - if contracted out - can be accomplished without using much local $$. There are all kinds of grants out there for capital purchases, but nothing for operations.

And unfortunately, most of us are cutting service even though ridership is up on many transit systems, because it is costing more and more to operate the service while funding (and revenue at the farebox) is not increasing at the same rate.

The only systems immune from this are the few that can somehow increase funding without legislative or municipal approval (few, very few), and those that seem to be able to print their own money (Metro in Washington - hey, they're close to the source of freshly-printed but worthless currency), the big mega-systems on both coasts, and maybe CTA. I don't know how those systems come up with funding to pay for service enhancements!

timecruncher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
James Monaco



Age: 74
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: Bus operation expense Reply with quote

Don't think fare box fares ever paid for bus operation but does help somewhat. State and local taxes would and probably due but is a hard sell. Cities must create and better promote their individual needs. Like I said it seems to be a hard sell and not a big priority in some cities.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Transit Employee Discussion, Information, & Issues All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group