Friday, December 30, 2011


Hanley, who started his career driving a bus in Brooklyn in the 1970s, cited a case in 2004 where a driver in Oregon was killed when her bus rolled over her after she didn’t properly set her brake. She was running behind schedule and was racing to get to a bathroom, according to news reports. 

 Metrobus drivers say tight schedules don’t leave enough room for bathroom breaks - The Washington Post


Anonymous said...

SIP's are now counting when your late and "you should have gone potti at the garage."

So much for my union dues.

Erik H. said...

Shit, that story makes the rounds again.

Are you sure that was in 2004? I remember the incident...either in 1998, 1999 or 2000 - I can't remember - I was catching the 62 from Murray/Millikan (where I worked at the time) to Scholls Ferry/Nimbus (where my wife worked at the time).

The 62 usually got a typical Flxible - a 500, 600, 1700 or 1800. There was even a 62 tripper that daily rated a 300/400 bus, normally reserved for the 9#X series routes. But that day I got one of the then-new 2000 series - the first time I rode in a 2000.

That evening I found out why - the normal Operator was at Sunset TC when she tried to set the brake from outside the driver's window. The bus started rolling and she got in front of the bus in an attempt to stop it from rolling. 40,000 pounds of bus is no match for a 200 pound human. The 2000 I rode was a road relief vehicle (kind of an odd choice of vehicle for a relief...but at that time the only route on the westside that would rate a 2000 is the 20 as Merlo didn't have any newer buses.)

Erik H. said...

But, it must be nice to work on WES - 36 minutes of break (10 at Beaverton, 26 at Wilsonville) for each 90 minute working period (one round-trip). With a dedicated break room and restroom facility at Wilsonville for your 26 minute nap time.

But line 12 operators making a Sherwood-Portland-Gresham run, who is GUARANTEED to run behind schedule, gets MAYBE 10 minutes despite all of the additional stress from being solely responsible for the vehicle through mixed traffic, PLUS providing customer service, fare inspections, calling out stops, etc. WES has an Engineer whose job is to only operate the train, and an Conductor who basically is there to chit-chat (he's "officially" in charge of the train, but his job is far, far less complicated than, say, a freight train's or an Amtrak Conductor.)

That is precisely why interlines should end, NO ROUTE should continue past fact no bus route should be longer than 20 miles with specific exceptions (and work rule accommodations are made for those exceptions - that would specifically involve both 12B and 12S; the 57 would probably be affected, as well as the whatever-bus-to-Estacada, such as a mandatory break at the end of the run and TriMet would be responsible for ensuring that other drivers are available to take the bus if the Operator does not have a full break.)

Ross Wrede said...

Erik, That incident did happen on election day in November 2004. The day George W. Bush stole another election. That particular 62 line had 3 different drivers each day. I was the last operator who pick up that 62 at Milikan Way on road relief. I remember the low floor bus which was very unusual (and still is) for a 62.

At the time I started my shift, all I knew was that there had been a fatality at Sunset TC earlier that day. I did not know until I returned to the garage that night that it was a TriMet operator who had died. I made the assumption during the day that a bus had hit someone at the TC. It was quite a shock to me to learn what had happened. As I recall, that operator was planning to retire in a few months.