Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Friday, February 1, 2013

A comparison of Gillig BRT buses...

TriMet's new 3000 series Gilligs:

Reno, Nevada Gillig BRT:

Another Reno Gillig BRT:

C-Tran Gillig BRT:

San Jose RTD Gillig BRT:

Unknown agency Gillig BRT:

Mountain Metropolitan Transit Gillig BRT:

Another unknown agency Gillig BRT:

Missoula Mountain Line Gillig BRT:

Utah Transit Authority Gillig BRT:

Another Utah Transit Authority Gillig BRT:

Everett Transit Gillig Low-Floor (non-BRT):

CDTA Gillig BRT:

As a pedestrian crossing the street, WHICH mirror arrangement allows you to have direct eye contact with the Operator?  The TriMet bus, or the Reno bus?

It would appear to me that other agencies had no problem with fixing the left-turn blind spot issue with a much better mirror arrangement.  TriMet, on the other hand, cheaped out and had a mirror spec-ed that blocks the driver's view.


Erik H. said...

Interestingly, this was even discussed two and a half years ago:

Steve Fung said...

Thanks Erik.That was well researched.Good job.

Henry Beasley said...

Can someone tell me what is wrong with these pictures????

h. h. said...

Take a close look at that Everett Transit first generation Gillig low-floor. I believe that is probably the optimal configuration in order to assist in the prevention of accidents involving buses making left turns and hitting pedestrians.

* The left mirror is mounted considerably higher than the driver's head allowing clear vision in that vulnerable area.

* The use of a windshield that has a wrap-around edge design that further helps make the A-pillar relatively thin.

* Not mounting the radio handset against the A-pillar ...actually, I'm not sure where they mount the handset assembly in Everett but Metro, I believe, still mounts the handset against the A-pillar blocking even more vision (see the previously posted video of a Metro coach making a left turn near the Seattle ferry terminal).

If all transit agencies could insist on such a configuration, I have to believe that left turn accidents with pedestrians would be significantly reduced if not eliminated completely.

@Henry --yup, the only thing really wrong with these pictures is the one of the Trimet coach.

Erik H. said...

h.h. - thanks for your input, I wasn't going to include the picture of the Everett Transit Advantage but did at the last second because you could clearly see the operator's head.

To be "fair and balanced" TriMet is hardly the only agency that specifies the low-mount mirror; Community Transit (and by extension Sound Transit), and Long Beach Transit, were notable agencies that used the same mirror as TriMet. And I could have included many photos of buses from TriMet - and other agencies - in approximately the same angle where you cannot see the Operator because the mirror is in the way.

Henry Beasley said...

@HH, mirror is an Obstruction. With the others in the pictures shown, you can actually see the op looking at you as your get in his way of making a left turn. LOL

h. h. said...

Erik, yes, I agree that Trimet is not the only offender. As I mentioned previously, Metro did retrofit their Gillig Phantoms with a smaller housing for their left mirror and mounted it lower ...which helped eliminate some of the blind spot. That was a step in the right direction for Metro. However, they refuse to mount the left mirror in the overhead position which I believe is the ideal position.

Community Transit is even a worse offender as they are still ordering their buses with the long housings similar to what Metro used at one time. The new Sound Transit DE60LFR articulated coaches that Community Transit operates use the huge mirror housing mounted in the exact position where it completely blocks the driver's view and forces the un-natural "rock-and-roll" maneuver as the driver makes a left turn. The same Sound Transit DE60LFRs which are identical that Metro operates are configured with Metro's specified left mirror which is at least slightly smaller. No Metro coaches are spec'd out with overhead left mirrors. I believe the first small group of DE60LFA BRT-designated coaches were equipped with them but the remainder of the order uses the lower mounted housing.

Erik, I want to thank you for continuing to promote this issue. I'm pondering starting a crusade to bring this to the forefront nationwide. I'm not sure how to go about it yet be it through the NTSB, another governmental agency, or start with the ATU. Transit buses should get rid of all obstructions that block the driver's view making left turns. It should be MANDATORY that those left mirrors be overhead mounted. It should be MANDATORY that A-pillars be as narrow as possible (there should be a maximum thickness that an A-pillar should not exceed. It should be MANDATORY that no interior accessories such as radio handsets be mounted against the A-pillar.

When I started driving buses in the mid-1970s, we still had the old TDH-5105s left over from Seattle Transit and they had a small rectangular left mirror mounted in an overhead position. It felt naturual to look up when using the mirror. Shortly after, they started retrofitting those old coaches with a larger square mirror mounted lower and creating a little blind area. I even asked "why?" at that time.

Metro wouldn't listen to my pleas pertaining to these issues when I worked there. I give them credit for what the retrofit they did on the Gillig Phantoms but that isn't enough. How many lives will it take before these transit agencies listen to what we are saying here? As safe a transit operator as I once was, I twice came so close to hitting pedestrians when making a left turn that I have complete empathy for those operators who HAVE hit pedestrians while making a left turn. As I've said previously, "there but for the grace of God go I."

Al M said...

You just proved Trimet is full of shit, as usual.
Good work Erik

Erik H. said...

Since Joseph Rose won't listen to me, I can only hope that the ATU (Bruce Hansen) take these photographs, and crank up the heat on the media. These photos are clear as water and TriMet should be forced - with cameras and microphones pointed at them - to justify why they took the cheap route over safety.

Henry Beasley said...

Hey, Eric, why don't you pose this stuff to the board, and demand an answer?

Jason McHuff said...

Unknown agency Gillig BRT

The first one is FREX, or Front-Range Express. It runs from Denver to the south. The second is Madison Metro in Wisconsin (the agency I grew up riding).

Erik H. said...

why don't you pose this stuff to the board, and demand an answer?

I'd love to, if I had the time off of work to do that.

h. h. said...

Duncan Guarino said...

The Mountainline bus is actually from Flagstaff, AZ. I used to work there. They just got another batch of these Gilligs to replace their El Dorados.

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