Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Essay on Trimet bus drivers

Is it Tri MET...or Tri MAD????

author: Red Sector 5 /Imperial Squadron Commander/ Op:zero8alpha e-mail:e-mail:
tri-met needs to pay more attention to it's VETERAN drivers. it is very hard to GET the job...apparently NOT so hard to keep it. Too many lax if not angry bus drivers, who put their schedules ahead of right driving decisions.
I was not in a position to get the driver description or the bus i.d. number...but given the tight schedules and time space between buses, I am sure you can figure it out easily.

Today, I was just turning south onto 148th, from eastbound stark, and as I was looking to my left to clear the intersection for my right turn. I saw the stark/#15 bus sitting at the west bound stop that is located immediately east of 148th. Point being: the bus was at a full stop on a yellow light. The bus did not wait for the next green, but pulled out quickly and continued west, on a red light. as said: the light was already late into the yellow, so by the time the bus was barely into the intersection, the light was already red. THAT is illegal and dangerous.
I have driven heavy vehicles and understand that a moving bus cannot be stopped on a dime. Yellow lights allow adequate time to stop when one can. But this driver does not have that excuse as he/she was at a full stop as the light was going from yellow to red and obviously chose to risk everybody else to get through a light. I have a family relation that is a trimet driver. I know some things about the pressure re route schedules. That is not an excuse to run red lights.
A Portland cop told me that "if you can safely stop at a yellow light you are required to do so" "It is NOT an extension of the green light to do as you wish". I know that but apparently this driver does not know or care. I have been on trimet busess before that have absolutely ignored yellow lights and one guy even blew right through a clearly red light; with an angry look on his face. I have had buses pull right out in front of me as if the 'yield' sign on the back of the bus gave them the right to do that. A trimet supervisor told me that it does NOT give a bus driver the right to endanger vehicles by pulling out right in front of them. but THAT happens all the time.
I rode tri met for years. great drivers and some VERY bad ones. never can forget the #17 driver who caused a mother with a newborn to fall in the aisle with his jack-rabbit start...and then flipped the passengers the bird for complaining about it. I could go on.
So...since we as car owners/drivers do not get big buses(or benefits!)to go out and endanger passengers and public with...PLEASE make more certain that you find a way to dial back these 'I own the road' trimet drivers. Last couple of times I said something to a trimet driver that had clearly been in the wrong, I got a kind of screaming ego back in my direction that has ZERO business driving a bus. If tri met drivers as as unhappy as SO many of them appear to be...maybe intermittent psych evaluations may be in order as well as the drug testing. I DON'T assume that bus drivers are good drivers. I others know better. Thank God I do not have to depend on 'Tri-Mad' anymore!

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