Transit agencies today face a complex set of issues: budgets are shrinking while demand for public transportation and ridership are increasing at a record pace.
Agencies striving to meet service demands and overcome budgetary pressures are continuing to make safety of operators and riders a priority, however, it’s not always something that can be given a huge investment. What we’ve seen, though, is that investing in safety can actually work to the benefit of agencies in terms of efficiency increases and cost reductions.
A prime example of this is with Veolia Transportation, a private sector operator of multiple modes of transit in North America. The company saw a relatively small investment in safety systems turn into big cost savings — specifically, a $5 million drop in annual claims cost.
Back in May 2011
A driving event captured by SmartDrive has been scored and prioritized.
, Veolia started implementing SmartDrive’s on-board video and safety program on vehicles across the U.S. Veolia has always been an organization focused on safety. Their major safety initiative, 300:29:1, identifies and eliminates the unsafe acts that can accumulate and lead to an accident. The rationale: for every 300 unsafe acts, 29 potential collisions and one catastrophic loss will occur. They’ve coined the phrase “Prevent the 300
” to keep the priority in mind.
As part of its goal to “Prevent the 300,” Veolia has long supported the use of on-board video on its vehicles. After using another system that wasn’t meeting its needs, Veolia switched to SmartDrive Safety
, which combines video with a critical analysis component. The video provides a consistent and objective view of the operator, vehicle and environment, and then, SmartDrive Safety experts analyze, score and prioritize the data before sending it to Veolia. These experts identify unsafe driving maneuvers, highlight good driving skills and document rider issues — giving safety managers actionable and prioritized tools to coach operators on their individual performance.
Since starting the program, Veolia has seen some amazing increases in safety including:
• Decrease in following at an unsafe distance by 79%.
• Drop in speeding by 88%.
• Reduction in collision frequency by 52%.
• 94% of unfastened seat belts now being fastened.
Importantly, Veolia made their investment back — and then some — with the $5 million drop in annual claims cost.
In the end, safety programs can be a key component in helping transit agencies overcome today’s operational and budgetary pressures by increasing efficiency, saving lives and reducing costs.
To read the entire case study on how Veolia is “preventing the 300” and saving money with SmartDrive, visit http://smartdrive.net/documents/veolia-transportation-case-study.pdf
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "San Antonio transit agency turns to advanced vehicles to protect air quality."
Palmer is the president of SmartDrive Systems, a leader in providing comprehensive, video-based operator performance and safety programs to help transit agencies achieve operational safety and efficiency, protect operators and the public, and lower costs overall.
Those of you who take a few minutes each month to follow my blogs, or have attended one of my past presentations at transit events, first let me thank you. These blogs and presentations, in combination, have been promoting surface transit standards in a form of a standardized curriculum for over 10 years now. I ask you, are we not long overdue in getting transit specific standards a done deal? By the time of this posting, I would have again stood before a group of transit professionals at a recently attended transit function in Orlando, Fla., speaking on this exact topic.
A final day should mean exactly that, the end — no more — learning opportunities that had been available no longer exist. The clock has run out. Hopefully, there is a final day designated for trainees at your agency, a time where you draw the line and make a decision, because, as we all know, not everyone can operate a bus. For the trainee, the final day is the most pressure-packed day they will spend on the training bus. Any student entering their final day should be well-prepared and fully aware of what they are faced with, as all of the requirements should have been clearly covered as part of their first day orientation. Remember, no surprises!
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...