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CTA to monitor "bad" bus drivers

 
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ripta42
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Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:40 am    Post subject: CTA to monitor "bad" bus drivers Reply with quote

CTA tattle tech
Agency says DriveCam system would increase bus safety; some drivers say monitoring goes too far
Chicago Tribune RedEye, 7/11/2007

To hear CTA commuters talk, there's an almost endless array of bus driver no-no's, from rapid accelerations that send standing passengers rolling to sharp curb-climbing turns and demolition derby-style swerves.

Hoping to cut complaints as well as accidents, the CTA will ask its board Wednesday to approve a $250,000 pilot project to install a driver-monitoring technology, called DriveCam, on 300 buses serving 16 routes. Surveillance, using motion-detecting recorders and video cameras, would begin before the end of the summer.

"The goal is to take a proactive approach to safety by identifying risky and dangerous driving behaviors and retraining drivers before accidents happen," CTA President Ron Huberman said Tuesday during a technology demonstration at the agency's bus garage on North Pulaski Road.

It's about time, CTA riders said Tuesday.

"I constantly feel like my life is in jeopardy," said Allison McCollum, who rides the No. 136-Sheridan/LaSalle Express buses to and from work. She said more cameras would help keep drivers in check because "they drive like maniacs most of the time."

CTA buses were involved in more than 4,000 accidents in 2006, and the transit agency paid out $19 million in accident settlements, claims and court judgments last year. About 1,700 bus accidents—more than 300 a month—have occurred through May, officials said.

"With some of the new guys, you really have to hang on," said bus rider Gus Reid, who simply shrugged as he described every ride as a little adventure.

While the CTA bus drivers union raised concerns about adding more surveillance technology, some bus drivers said changes are necessary to keep careless operators in check.

"A driver would only have a problem with it if they can't drive up to par," said Charles Jackson, a No. 3 King Drive operator who has been driving for 16 years. "It wouldn't bother me."

Other drivers took a dimmer view of the plan.

"They're already monitoring everything. We've got tracking devices, supervisors everywhere, not to mention the passengers complaining," said Lakisha Nevels, who has been driving for nine years. She said many of the practices that DriveCam would flag, such as speeding or swerving from lane to lane, are necessary to keep the buses on schedule.

More oversight, Nevels added, would make driving more difficult. "Having them watching you messes up your concentration," she said. "It's just a bad idea."

Officials said the goal is to identify those operators who need remedial instruction and those who probably should not have been hired in the first place, said William Mooney, the CTA vice president for bus operations.

DriveCam could be expanded to all 2,000 CTA buses if, at the end of the one-year experiment, it helps curb accidents and related expenses, officials said.

Equipping the entire CTA bus fleet with DriveCam would cost up to $2 million, officials said.

"As to the savings, we want to see how the pilot goes before making projections on what it could mean systemwide. That's one of the reasons to start small and test it," said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney.

DriveCam, mounted on bus windshields, contains audio and video recorders—one pointed forward toward the street and the other directly at the bus driver. In addition, an on-board accelerometer that is triggered by unusual motion measures G-forces caused by changes in speed and direction, both vertically and laterally.

The device records throughout a driver's entire route, but the system is prompted to only save recordings of events that are beyond normal driving parameters, such as hard braking, swerving, rapid acceleration or deceleration and collisions, according to DriveCam, the San Diego maker of the units.

The recorders capture data 10 seconds before and after an unusual event. Incidents are downloaded automatically via a wireless signal when a bus approaches the garage at the end of the day. Driver behavior experts at DriveCam would analyze the tapes and send reports to the CTA.

The company said the technology has saved lives and reduced damage-claims and vehicle repair costs by at least 30 percent across the country.

Still, the union representing the CTA's 4,600 bus drivers is objecting to the test, saying aiming cameras at the driver's compartment would be an invasion of privacy.

"Cameras haven't done anything to improve security. They've just been used for discipline and to punish drivers," said Darrell Jefferson, president of the CTA bus drivers union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241.

Officials said the transit agency has the authority to implement the monitors under the existing labor contract.
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ripta42
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Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CTA board approved the pilot program. No surprises there.
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James Monaco



Age: 75
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Drivers and how they drive. Reply with quote

I think bus operators drive like they are hauling freight. This is wrong as it does not help transport people in a safe manor. Tight schedules also are a cause of this. Think like you are hauling eggs, fragile stuff. Brake slowly and evenly make turns in same manor. This will avoid a lot of mishaps. Mindset is if you run late you run late, your follower catches you and you get back in place,other wise you wind up damaging equipment and injure passengers.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tight schedules can be run without throwing passengers all over the bus. I don't believe that anyone pushed to stay on schedule more that I did. I seldom had any complaint from passengers. James Monaco is correct about the mindset of keeping in mind that you are hauling fragile cargo. You can accelerate quickly without giving anyone backlash. You can stop quickly without slamming on the brakes. Making a fast turn will not save any time. Speeding...you just have to know where you can step it up a bit and not overdo it.
As for the cameras, I really don't think I would like having a camera aimed at me for my entire shift. The intent of identifying consistently bad drivers is good. The problem is that it could be used as a basis for targeting certain drivers, waiting for an "I Gotcha" moment.
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James Monaco



Age: 75
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:01 am    Post subject: Bad bus operators Reply with quote

I don't think my original post went through as I am not yet familiar with the format you use,sorry about that, I'm a little slow sometimes picking things up,I'm old.I started out driving a tractor trailer for my dad in my twenty's.He had a small trucking business.. In 1973 I had opportunity to work for Triboro coach corp, great bus company. Thought I went to heaven, union job benefits vacation etc. No more crazy long hours no days off .Anyway in 1980 I moved to ft. Lauderdale,Fl. And got a job with Broward county transit. I worked there for thirty years and retired four years ago. It wasn't as good as Triboro but was union and paid good so I stayed thinking at some point it would grow into a Transit system similar to a big city Triboro system. Well it still hasn't and when the county government realizes that it should Remains to be seen. But it Was steady work paid good and was union. Just not big city ready. Anyway I found bus talk like it and hope you guys and gals keep me on board. Thanks.
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James Monaco



Age: 75
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Cameras on Busses? Reply with quote

JimmiB wrote:
Tight schedules can be run without throwing passengers all over the bus. I don't believe that anyone pushed to stay on schedule more that I did. I seldom had any complaint from passengers. James Monaco is correct about the mindset of keeping in mind that you are hauling fragile cargo. You can accelerate quickly without giving anyone backlash. You can stop quickly without slamming on the brakes. Making a fast turn will not save any time. Speeding...you just have to know where you can step it up a bit and not overdo it.
As for the cameras, I really don't think I would like having a camera aimed at me for my entire shift. The intent of identifying consistently bad drivers is good. The problem is that it could be used as a basis for targeting certain drivers, waiting for an "I Gotcha" moment.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean you're old ?! Same age as me. Oh, that's right...I am old.
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James Monaco



Age: 75
Joined: 20 Dec 2013
Posts: 14
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hesitate to think about my age to much for that reason and more. It's that time when you walk into a room and can't remember what for.
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timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny thing about tight schedules - few people will come to the scheduler to tell them about the problem. When they do, they learn that we can't change times until the next pick, and get discouraged.

I encourage our drivers to talk with me, drop me a note, whatever - in person, preferably, so I can make plans to adjust times appropriately. Even so, I rarely see anyone.

On the other side, I see operators running late intentionally and then complaining that they're too overcrowded. One particular trip that was chronically late on our heaviest route somehow managed to run on time when a supervisor was trailing the bus. Actually, this has happened repeatedly on a few of our problem routes.

There are higher management issues that can keep us from making adjustments, and sometimes, adding time means less layover time.

At least our drivers have a former driver building their schedules. After I retire, I can't wait to see what kind of scheduling they end up with... Confused
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about aging; I have occasionally unpacked groceries and caught myself about to put a roll of paper towels in the refrigerator!

My only advice to our younger viewers is; 'don't get old!' (it's not as much fun as it looks).

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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JimmiB



Age: 75
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Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This morning I was heating water for a cup of coffee. The microwave beeped and I opened a cabinet door!
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