Goodnight, Irene — Irene, Goodnight!
I sincerely hope that any inconveniences suffered by those exposed to Irene were not unbearable and injuries, if any, were minimal. Condolences are in order to those who may have lost a friend or family member. I would like to commend those transit agencies that worked with their respective elected officials in making the decision to keep their bus and rail equipment "in the house." Although a complete shutdown of service may have been a first for some agencies, I'm sure their actions may have prevented even more injuries from occurring.
On another note, during the course of my presentations to large groups, I have come to believe that they are some of the most exciting and inspiring events for transferring critical information regarding bus operator training and safety. Large group presentations are an excellent time to unveil new training concepts and strategies. There is a distinct feel and energy to the room that cannot be duplicated in any other setting.
I will have the distinct honor of conducting a presentation at BusCon 2011 at the Navy Pier in Chicago, Sept. 12 to 14. My presentation will outline how to infuse new operators with a solid core curriculum in under 13 hours, at a time when some agencies might be devoting 40-plus hours to this training. This presentation defines a training process that starts — and stays — on the bus until students are able to demonstrate operational proficiency.
My presentation focuses on standardizing curriculum with five proven specific criteria listed below to increase an agency's efficiency.
- Standardized Criterion-Based Curriculum-To predict the safety performance of student bus operators after training.
- Supplemental "Training Tool" Driving Simulator - To expose the student in a controlled environment where neither the public nor equipment is at risk.
- An Effective Train the Trainer Program - To ensure a smooth transfer from the training bus instructor to the depot "route familiarization" operator.
- Corrective Action/Refresher Solutions - Fixing the problem and attacking known risks.
- Post-Training Programs- Ensuring a "Hire to Retire" philosophy.
The lack of a standardized curriculum and a set time limit makes it impossible to determine whether the identical protocols and techniques being taught to all students and whether those students are learning the material.
If you are considering attending BusCon 2011, please stop by to say hello and introduce yourself as a reader of this blog and consider remaining for the presentation.
At your agency, what does your "ingredient" list contain? What can you add to my "Five?"
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "OCTA CEO: Getting America back to work," here.
Typically, when riding the rails in the Philadelphia region, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority customers can purchase daily, weekly or monthly passes — even onboard tickets — for their journeys. But the weekend of Sept. 26 to 27 will be far from a typical weekend in Philadelphia — Pope Francis will be in town, along with an estimated 1.5 to two million people attending public events along the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Transit authority operators nationwide have been victims of sometimes brutally violent acts, but in Philadelphia, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has had a decrease in bus operator assaults by almost 60% since 2011. How did they do that?
The cost of copper was around $2.50 a pound in mid-June. While that might not sound like a lot of money, when you have hundreds of feet of copper wire, you’re talking about thousands of dollars or more. Transit systems, which utilize copper in wiring, are the latest target for thieves looking to make some easy cash.
While PTC may have just recently entered the consciousness of the public at-large, it has been an issue for freight and commuter rail systems since Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) (P.L. 110-432) in 2008 following the collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles. Since that time, rail organizations have been working toward meeting the federally-mandated PTC implementation deadline of December 31, 2015. With less than six months to go, several commuter rail systems have said that, not only will they not meet the deadline, they will need several more years before having full PTC implementation on their trains.
Disruptive technologies and the new era of information sharing are helping to evolve and advance public transportation in our nation’s greatest cities. Nearly 300 mayors and government officials convened in San Francisco June 19-22 for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 83rd Annual Meeting, featuring remarks from President Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I was invited to speak in front of these influential government leaders to discuss “Technology and the Transformation of Urban Transportation.” This article will give readers an inside look at the conversation.