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Friday, January 23, 2015

Trimet insider defends the radio systems

One of my pals, who knows more about radio systems than I, says that they are actually functional and that the problems we are hearing on the scanner we are interpreting incorrectly. 
This conversation actually occurred over a year ago but is still relevant today. I'm publishing it today because someone who I have respect for is making an issue about some of the information we are publishing.

Some of my critics think I 'make up' information and that is totally false. Every single thing that appears on this blog is based on some sort of factual event or information. Sure I may embellish things occasionally for effect but every single news source does the exact same thing.
Trimet itself never publishes actual facts, only the facts that support their world view embellished to make themselves look good.
No Trimet personnel every object to or attempt to clarify anything that I put up on my blog. I know why that is, because if they did it would 'legitimize' me and Trimet can't have that. But that's on them. My facts stand as true unless someone can prove me wrong.

Trimet and its stooges have tried very hard to paint me as a 'disgruntled employee' . I am not a disgruntled employee, that should be obvious. I am a disillusioned ex employee who feels his civil liberties were violated while working at Trimet. The fact of the matter is there is not one person there that I have some sort of 'grudge' against. They did what they thought they had to do and believe it or not I do understand that. I've said it before and I'll say it again. My time at Trimet was one of the most profound experiences of my life and my interest in Trimet didn't stop when I left their employ.

 I am a direct creation of the Trimet culture. They wanted a  nice subservient bus driver who did what he was told. What they got instead is someone who refused to be treated like a serf and instead developed an intense fascination for the organization he once worked for.  



Me:What would you like to discuss? You don't like that we call the radios a failure?
Trimet: One of the questions asked by audit staff was 'what expectations do you work under?' and the answer was 'there are none.'
Management  sets the ops up against the sups/controllers/dispatchers and then doesn't support the white shirts when it counts.
But the nonsense about the "junk radios" has to stop. it's not the radios. it's the cad system.
It doesn't help that after i did training with the dispatchers  about failure modes one of the management  went around and told em not to use it.
Don't get me wrong. radios aren't perfect (yet) .
99% of problems are dispatchers not wanting to adapt to new system.

Me: ya all i hear is lots and lots of calls that dont go through
Trimet: nope. the radios work just fine. (I'm in a position to know, it's not just my geek side.) almost all of the problems
are related to the integration, and the poor training and retention by the dispatchers about how the new system as a whole works

Me:hmmmm, well somebody is fucking up then
Trimet:  The problem is twofold. There is instant indication if a call succeeded or failed. But did operator step off bus? Granted only notification is a "doorbell" that doesn't repeat and not many dispatchers who try and "hail" the driver over the speaker training. Poor training for dispatchers, poor training for operators and of course the whole issue with the interface.
There are two different interfaces, one between the  on-board computer and radio and one between dispatch computer  and  radio
Not to mention all the misunderstood operation of the CAD/AVL software. Dispatchers don't want to learn "new stuff"
In some cases that generalization is correct, but EVERY TIME there has been a problem, I could have gotten a call 2 complete.

Me:all quite interesting so your take is that the system works fine, the dispatchers are the problem
Trimet: No, not saying that necessarily. The new system as a whole is so completely different from the old BDS and requires a different way of thinking. Dispatchers want the new system to work exactly the way the old system did. Just can't happen.
Now that two major flaws have been fixed system reliability is up.

Me:That certainly is an interesting perspective SB doesn't agree
Trimet: yeah, but she listens to W and RD who are the two whiniest about the fact it doesn't work the same. When I talk to J, B, S, A, etc. they all try and learn something about how the system works and then they get crap from the other two about it. And, yeah, it's powerful to say "someone's going to get killed" but it's not reality.
The one thing this system has that the old one didn't is that even in fall back a specific bus can be called direct.
RE: failure modes, "we shouldn't have to do that." I agree. shouldn't *have* to. But if you can, and you don't, who's fault?
 One of my  shifts, I actually took one of the dispatchers and showed them the radio equip in the comm room and explained and all of a sudden you could see a lightbulb come on. We still have contractors on site for immediate response...
It's literally is all a training issue. Like i say, radios aren't perfect

Me: What about Harry Sapporta?
Trimet: He's a glorified mouthpiece. the McFarlane protectors make Saporta say things that Saporta might not agree with.
Does anyone find it convenient that Trimet suffered a fatal power outage the same day the auditor's report was issued?

Me:Anything else you want to talk about?
Trimet: Trimet's so freakin' hilarious. Someone I know is a service worker at Powell... they have a new manager that is trying to force them to work out of classification and do work that is legitimately that of an 'interior cleaner'. Nobody is doing it (much) and when the bossman
complains he gets told that he needs to reinstate the seat cleaner position and start doing interior clean on as many buses as possible.

Me: Thanks for taking the time

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