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.
There is an epidemic of safety accidents, absenteeism and high turnover among transit’s front line employees and it’s bleeding the transportation industry billions of dollars. But the inoculation may be closer than you think. Employee engagement is the best immunization for what’s ailing the industry.
Video surveillance technology is a vital component to transit and rail operations as agencies recognize the value such solutions offer. A comprehensive system does more than deliver high quality video and audio recordings. Supporting data and software tools increase the efficiency of agencies’ video management operations, substantiate liability claims and investigations, and promote safety for both passengers and operators alike.
In case you missed it, Pope Francis visited America — and was followed by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims during his stops in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. It’s fitting, given Pope Francis’ penchant for public transportation, that transit played a key role in taking the masses to papal visit activities.
A transit authority’s website, contact center tools and social media are all critical touch points for customers as they engage with transit agencies. At this stage in the relationship, the focus should be on informing and educating prospective customers so they have the incentive to provide their demographic information (e.g. email address, cell phone number, social media contact, etc.).
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.