Photo courtesy Indianapolis CVB
always delivers a great line up of speakers, a vast showcase of the latest technology, and a friendly environment for transit folks to network, exchange ideas and learn something new. I would like to encourage you to attend BusCon 2014
, as I always find this event to be time well spent. If you manage to find your way to Indianapolis this year, please stop me and say hello. It’s always a pleasure to meet those of you who are regular blog readers of the METRO
website. Please feel welcome to share your ideas regarding future blog topics. Who knows? You could soon become a guest columnist.
This year I’ve been given the opportunity to present a session with my colleague, Steve Mentzer. Our session will take place on Tuesday morning, Sept. 14 at 8:30 a.m. and is entitled: “Creating a Driver Training Program from Start to Finish.” This discussion will appeal to those of you seeking to create an end-to-end driver training program utilizing an array of resources to bridge all learning modalities.
The session will cover:
- How to properly blend all available resources into a cohesive training program that could be easily and effectively integrated into your operation.
- The importance of reinforcing the initial training and how to effectively support the process throughout the year.
- Key ingredients of a new bus operator training program.
I would like to thank those of you who have reached out with your questions regarding the use of bus simulators as a supplemental training tool. I will make myself available throughout the two days to follow up with your concerns regarding:
- Concept - How to know if you are ready for a simulator.
- Requirements – How to prioritize software and hardware needs.
- Bells and Whistles – How to discern true training value from available features and functions.
- Vendor Interaction - What should you be asking and hearing?
- Delivery - Getting out of the gate effectively.
- Implementation – “Train the Trainer,” who will you trust with your trainers?
- Results – What measurable outcomes should you expect?
- Do's and Don’ts - What makes a successful simulator program and what will cause it to fail?
In closing, a question has been asked regarding the instructor’s decision to advance or disqualify a trainee on the final day of training and whether there is one “fail safe” measure or rule that should be considered as a key indicator on which call to make. Keep it simple by asking yourself as the instructor, would you allow one of your family members to board your trainee’s bus immediately after you qualify them? If you have to think about it, even for a brief moment, they are probably not qualified to advance. If the trainee is truly ready to advance, your “yes” answer will come without hesitation. It should be every instructor’s moral responsibility to not allow a trainee into passenger service that would be a risk to the public, the agency, and the trainees themselves.
Until then, safe travels and we’ll hope to see you at BusCon 2014.
Louie is the former director of training for the New York City Transit Dept. of Buses Safety & Training Division and 2003 NTI Fellow. Currently, he is sr. consultant/SME in transit training & bus simulation at L-3 D.P. Associates and independent consultant at "Bus Talk" Surface Transit Solutions.
In case you missed it...
Read our previous blog, "How Operation Lifesaver can help your transit system's safety program."
Years ago, I was with Louie Maiello when someone walked over and asked him for some advice: “We’re having problems with people remembering to secure the bus before they leave their seat. Do you have any advice? How can we get them to remember?” Without missing a beat, Louie said “PIN it.” The advice seeker happened to be a veteran mechanic, so he understood and walked away to resume his work. I stood there for a while scratching my head. Pin it?
Diagnose, Prescribe & Follow-Up, are the usual doctor’s actions that are utilized when visiting the doctor’s office for whatever is ailing us. This formula should also apply within your training department with regard to the ailment of Bus Collisions.
If we encourage our operators to treat operating a bus as a shift-long Zen moment, we may be able to reduce preventable crashes by a significant amount. The “Zen Operator,” who drives precisely at all times, is also less stressed. The Zen Operator flows through difficult, tight situations easily and their body language and vibe give passengers a sense of confidence. The operator whose passengers have a white-knuckle death grip on the back of the seat in front of them is not practicing “Zen Bus Operation.”
Ah, summer. Pool parties, barbecues, the smell of honeysuckle and the sight of lightning bugs. Or — a rise in crime, agitated riders seeking air conditioning, heat stroke, a new fiscal year, and the necessary, but unpopular, fare increases. However you view the summer months, with a direct correlation between high temperatures and increased crime, it's vital for transit leaders to be asking themselves, "Have we done everything possible to keep our people safe?"
The RMS occurred last month in Albany, N.Y. and it was a truly remarkable learning experience for those in attendance. The RMS serves as a one-of-a-kind event that brings together transit risk management professionals from all across the country to focus on key topics related to safety, risk management, planning and prevention.