The Oregonian has an article they call “TriMet overtime: ‘Exhaustion has become part of the culture’ at transit agency.” We wanted to take this opportunity to provide some further information and to assure you that we have a safe system that you can trust.
The story stems from when a MAX train hit a bumping post at the Expo Center in 2011 and there was speculation that the operator may have fallen asleep. This was an extremely rare and unfortunate event for TriMet—but we followed up with the appropriate investigation and discipline regarding this incident.(no you didn't Shelly, you put me on suspension and threatened my job if I didn't 'give up' the source of that video. Your staff then proceeded to harass me until I finally left Trimet after I didn't give up the source. And you lied to Joe about the details of the incident)
Since then, The Oregonian has asked for years of complaints against operators, hours of service (HOS), pay records and collision data to determine if there is a pattern of this type of behavior.
We have a few bus operators who choose to work a lot of overtime, and at times taking just a few hours off between service days. While this is rare it complies with our HOS policy. We are vigilant when it comes to improving safety because we can always do better, and we will.
Every day we do a lot to ensure a safe operation:(everyday I listen to dispatch doing their jobs and every day I hear them pleading with operators to work extra.)
- Our operators are trained professionals who all receive annual safety training and refresher training when appropriate.(and inadequate running times and breaks)
- We comply with the Oregon Department of Transportation’s requirement that we have an HOS policy approved by ODOT for our rail operators and have applied a similar policy to our bus operators. The HOS policy defines a service day differently between bus and rail. As we negotiate the next contract, (typical trimet bullshit here trying to blame the union for management failures) we hope to work with the ATU to improve the hours of service policy and further strengthen our support of safe operations.
- Our negotiated HOS policy limits the number of hours a person can work in a week and the number of consecutive days a person can work; it also requires a period of rest within the service day. Additionally, operators have the ability to pass up work or request later work under certain circumstances so they can get the rest they need.
- If an operator is feeling tired, we have safety measures in place. If we get a complaint about unsafe driving or concern over a sleepy operator, we perform a field fit-for-duty check on the operator.
Safety is our core value. There is no greater priority. (words mean nothing when there are no actions behind them) We can always improve our safety efforts and will continue to do so—hand in hand with our entire Operations Division, Safety and Security Division and the ATU.