In my last blog we discussed bus stop placement pros and cons. Last week I received an email regarding mid-block bus stops and how to make these stops as safe as possible. Servicing bus stops in mid-block and after right and left turns will be covered here. I will also review boarding and alighting of customers.
In the case of mid-block stops that I have had experience with, the stop was usually placed directly behind metered or unmetered parked vehicles. With mid-block stops placed between parked vehicles, operators may have a tight area to maneuver into, so it is very important to make the decision early whether they feel they can place their bus in a completely curbed and parallel parked position. This is the safest and most customer-friendly option as far as the safety issue. It is not acceptable to nose the bus in at an angle leaving the left rear of bus vulnerable to oncoming vehicle contact.
Due to insufficient space or an obstructed stop, operators may be forced to stop parallel to curb in the #2 lane. If this is the case, although the curb lane is occupied with parked vehicles, they must not take for granted that they are completely secure on their right side. I have seen where the first vehicle that was parked to the right side rear was occupied and the motorist attempted to squeeze up that right lane and place the boarding and alighting customers at extreme danger even with the kneeler in its required deployed position.
One last thing about midblock stops, not having as much activity as the nearside or farside stops, operators can be in danger of not being as attentive to their surroundings around the bus, especially concerning pedestrians. In an urban setting, these stops might be the least favorite of bus operators. Stay straight, stay right-side protected, stay alert.
Bus Stops Directly After a Right Turn
Danger: Thinking about bus placement in bus stop before ensuring that the right rear pivot area has successfully cleared the curb.
I have seen many students focused solely on getting the bus to the curb, resulting in oversteering on the turn rather than first ensuring right rear clearance.
Remember, on a right turn as in any turn:
- The Set Up is first. The type of turn and bus placement before the turn, determines how to maneuver into the turn.
- Walk the bus around the corner and ensure right rear pivot clearance away from curb/pedestrians.
- Finally, Think Bus Stop only after confirming right rear pivot area clearance from curb, pedestrians and other fixed objects, then completing the turn and positioning bus into stop.
Bus Stops Immediately After a Left Turn
Squaring off this turn and positioning the bus deep into the intersection to set up the turn will provide maximum protection.
The right side of the bus will be covered and protected while turning left from the right side sweeper attempting to turn left with the bus.
It will ensure that operator will have maximum visibility to pedestrians crossing either right to left or left to right in front of bus.
Positioning deep into the intersection will prevent oncoming vehicles turning right, access to the right lane between the bus and bus stop.
Boarding and Alighting
1 – Avoiding pedestrian contact with doors: With front doors open, rear door interlock engaged and service brake applied, keep left hand on the door handle from the moment the doors are opened until closing.
2 - Before closing doors, check interior center mirror (or over the right shoulder) for anyone approaching from the right rear side of bus. Angle the center mirror to a high left/low right position to widen the view along the right side rear curb area of the bus and to ensure the rear door area is clear of obstructions.
3 - Check right flat real-view mirror (non-convex) to expose activity alongside the right of bus.
4 - Check right convex mirror where a shorter person, like a child, (who may not be visible in the real-view mirror or naked eye of the operator) will be visible.
5 – Keep eyes on front door area before closing doors. After ensuring that it’s permissible to close doors (hazard free), place the door handle to the closed position while watching doors close in preparation for a late arriving boarder. Signal left and under no circumstance move left before looking left.
Follow the 3 S's of Surface Transportation - Safety, Service, and Schedule.
Physical security surveillance is one of the most vital facets of a transit system’s security plan. In the past, recording was primarily done by analog video cameras, but those systems are now updated with IP cameras that have features like greater data storage and ultra HD imaging. Moreover, today’s surveillance has moved beyond video to audio monitoring. By integrating audio and video, security directors have access to more evidence for reported incidents and accident investigations. Audio also provides accountability for employees, capturing if a train engineer was talking on his cell phone on duty or if a train ticket examiner was providing poor customer service.
I recently had the opportunity to view a video that captured what could have been a fatal pedestrian knockdown if contact had occurred. A bus overtaking another bus positioned in the bus stop zone occurs routinely and usually without incident, but if not performed correctly, this type of situation can end with catastrophic results.
Recent national incidents have put increased attention on safe commuting and what passengers can do to protect themselves during a transit emergency. “The most important tip anyone can follow is to wait for the instructions of the crew,” said Scott Sauer, chief system safety officer for SEPTA. “Crews know the equipment best and have been trained to safely remove passengers from vehicles should the situation warrant evacuation...
Are you getting frustrated because — in spite of what you’re doing — collisions are not dropping at your agency? With just a few tweaks, you can make a difference. If you are a chief training officer, training director, instructor or equivalent at your agency, then this message is for you.
I may be all alone on this one, but I discovered that my kids (who were not allowed to play “shooter” video games) developed a distinct style of driving (and a lot of unsafe habits) while playing their video driving games as pre-teens and young teenagers. In fact, I wound up spending a great deal of my time trying to undo these habits and deep set tendencies while my boys still had their learner's permits.