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.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Regional (commuter) Rail system was inherited from the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads and the infrastructure in many sections of the system has been serving the Philadelphia area for more than 100 years. Fifteen years ago, overhead catenary system (OCS) failures were a common occurrence on SEPTA Regional Rail, a result of fatigue cracks and wear. The all too common OCS failures were frustrating for SEPTA customers who occasionally found it difficult to depend on train service for their travels and for SEPTA, whose crews were constantly working to repair and maintain the system.
London is one of the grand cities of the world and in the midst of the cycling revolution. Led by the city’s transport organization – Transport for London, but supported by more fundamental changes in the city’s society, economy and perceptions of lifestyle and mobility, cycling is “on a roll”!
Tech-enabled ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft already appear to be acting as a complement to public transit. Uber analyzed its Los Angeles trip data to in this light. Over the course of a month, Uber found that 22 percent of trips taken near Metro stations took place during rush hour (between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday). This data could be telling us that people are using Uber like they might use bikeshare, as a last-mile and first-mile connection to transit.
Driverless cars have been in the news for quite some time. Last September, I speculated in PC 360, an insurance trade magazine, that insurance premiums for autos could decrease by as much as 40% over the next five years as autonomous cars made travel much safer. I increased my estimate to a 75% decrease in insurance premiums by extending the timeline to 15 years. When I wrote those two articles, I remember thinking how much of a personal paradigm shift was needed to accept a driverless car as safe. Now, it appears that driverless buses are in the near future as well.
What do transit authorities like SEPTA, MBTA, MTA and BART have in common other than transporting thousands, even millions of riders every day? All were recently ranked as four of the U.S.’s 500 “Best Employers” by Forbes magazine.
SEPTA, MBTA, MTA and BART were among 25 organizations included in Forbes’ “Transportation & Logistics” category, along with Southwest Airlines, Amtrak, CSX, Union Pacific and Greyhound. In fact, SEPTA (#33) and MBTA (#49) placed higher than Apple (#55) and SEPTA was the highest ranked company in Pennsylvania.