Thanks for your response concerning my questions for the safety committee (5/17/12). You said if I had any questions, to contact you. I have some follow up questions concerning the committee’s response, of blaming operators for “all” slips, trips and falls. In your response you said, “Slips, trips and falls do sometimes occur while the bus is moving, but the operator can reduce the risk. Smooth braking and acceleration are essential and the need to brake suddenly can almost always be avoided through the use of proper scanning skills.” With this said, the committee never considered any other factors, that may cause slips, trips and falls, for example: equipment related, all buses are not new or not all 2900 series. Most of the buses are in bad repair, meaning the breaking systems are in bad repair or the accelerator is in bad repair, which may be more of a contributing factor in all slips, trips and falls. If trainers and operators alike know this, then why does the committee not? 1400-2200 series buses are all outdated, meaning that they are will over the federal standard of 500,000 miles or 12 years, which means, they are more prone to glitches when it comes to stopping or accelerating. The second part of your comment concerned “scanning”. in a nut-shell, the operator who has to scan every 5-8 seconds in the mirrors, accelerate and brake, concentrate on danger from “all” sides, verbal announcements, pulling into stops while not taking off mirrors, not hitting pedestrians who will do the dandiest things, not run over the bicyclists, etc. All this while little frail grandma, wants to get to the door quickly, while not grabbing a bar/strap or anything stable. This “is” a recipe for disaster. This “is” clearly a safety hazard. A vast majority of our ridership is “honored citizens”, meaning most of them have no choice but to ride the bus/trains, with either physical or mental challenges. We need something to assist us in solving this problem, as one of my suggestions, signage. There are signs all over that we can point to, to reinforce a preventative measure of safety (since there are no policy’s for in-service safety for passengers), which Trimet aspires for. There are signs for; fairs, rules of the ride, stand behind the yellow line or go with the flow. All of which creates a balance of safety.
For far too long Trimet has created a safety hazard of riders getting up and wondering around while the bus/train is moving, the time is now, we need to create, in-service safety.
In this challenge, something was brought to my attention, vinyl seating. The vinyl seating is going to be Trimets big change concerning cleanliness in the coming years, but has anyone actually sat on the seats? If you have not I suggest that you do. The reason for this is that I have heard stories of these things being slippery, thus possibly causing more falls on the bus. So just be aware if you have one of the buses that have the vinyl seats to be careful, that applying the brakes hard may result in someone sliding off the seats. Once I get a response from Mrs. Gilbreath, on the below information I will include this in a rebut of the so-called safety committee challenge.