Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Tualatin Times - Portland,OR,USA
Shuttle buses replace sidelined TriMet commuter train
Expect WES to be partially derailed again Monday - Hard Drive: A ...
By Joseph Rose, The Oregonian
Sunday, February 22, 2009
On Friday afternoon in front of four television cameras, Operator Mel Meyers was formally introduced to Naomi Love--a regular rider on his 15-Belmont bus--and her two daughters, who thanked him for saving her life on Monday, Feb. 16. While riding the bus Love had suffered a serious stroke. Doctors told Meyers that his quick thinking and actions not only saved her life, but also saved the quality of her life. The stroke was particularly severe, the type that kills 50 percent of those who experience one like it. Love is expected to fully recover from the stroke.
Meyers noticed a commotion in the aisle on Monday afternoon, and carefully pulled the bus to a stop where he notified Dispatch of the emergency before going to the fallen customer to see what had happened. Meyers observed that there was something seriously wrong with the customer, who was conscious but unresponsive--important information that allowed medical responders to determine that she had suffered a stroke.
This story demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of our bus and rail operators, who truly are a lifeline for our customers. When Meyers spoke with the family, he praised the training that he received and said that his actions were simply what any TriMet operator would do in such a situation.
This is the kind of dedication that is representative of our frontline employees. I know that many operators have had similar situations in which their actions have helped to save a person's life. Many times, we do not learn what ultimately happens to a person after they are taken from the bus by medical responders. In this case, the customer and her family members were able to thank our operator in person, and let him know how his careful attention had impacted their lives.
Meyers humbly accepted their thanks on behalf of his fellow operators, and told Love that he looks forward to seeing her back on the bus.
I am pleased to announce that TriMet and the ATU have reached an agreement to consolidate the Fare Technician and Communications Technician classifications into a new classification, Field Technician.
In recent years we have had challenges with the reliability of our fare equipment. The Fare Equipment Maintenance department has recently transitioned from Finance into the Operations division. There will be changes in the way that the department is managed, including the allocation of resources and the prioritization of repair work. There is a commitment by management, the union and employees that this process will be transparent, inclusive and respectful.
There are a number of reasons for creating the new classification. Foremost is our commitment to our riding public that we will provide functioning fare vending equipment on our rail platforms. By merging the two classifications we will immediately increase the number of qualified technicians who can work on our machines. Increasing the number of technicians will significantly increase our ability to respond quickly to down machines and increase the overall reliability of the equipment.
The consolidation of the classifications will provide existing Fare Technicians with the opportunity to gain additional skills and experience working on a wider range of equipment. Additionally, existing Communications Technicians will benefit from the opportunity to work on equipment that is more closely tied to the customer experience, bringing them closer to the core mission of our organization. There will be refresher training provided immediately to the Communications Technicians on fare equipment, so that they may hit the ground running. We are working to build a robust training curriculum that is consistent with our existing apprenticeship programs, and will provide our employees with the tools and knowledge that they need to be successful in the new classification.
In the coming weeks, Roland Henson, manager of MOW, the Supervisors and all Field Technicians will be working closely to examine the work that is needed and create a deployment plan and shift structure that will allow us to provide customers with working machines and Operations employees with a well-functioning system. The input from employees in this process will be important and valued. Thank you in advance for your support.
occasionally he does make a lot of sense.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
This afternoon, four of the 16 WES trips will be provided by shuttle buses due to an electrical malfunction affecting one of the DMU trains. Riders traveling between Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville should expect to add about 10 minutes to their commute via the shuttle. Crews will be working through the weekend to repair the train, but may need to have shuttle buses provide some service during next week’s commute.
WES riders traveling northbound from Wilsonville at 4:26 p.m. and 5:56 p.m. and traveling southbound from Beaverton Transit Center at 5:03 p.m. and 6:33 p.m. will need to take shuttle buses. In Wilsonville, board shuttle across from the station platform. At other stops, board shuttle buses at Line 76-Beaverton/Tualatin bus stops. More
Thursday, February 19, 2009
FROM STATION MANAGER
I will send a note to the timekeeper which will result in the last two days of your floaters being applied to the days currently showing as "unexcused absence". At that time you will not have time loss associated with those days.
Please take a few moments to read the front of the red "leave hours" book where it clearly states that mini-run operators are to make sure they designate which leave category they are using for time being taken; VAC, FH or BD.It is underlined and in a different color for emphasis. On Aug. 27th & 28th you listed VAC. Remember that since vacation weeks can be taken one day at a time, it is incumbent upon you, the operator, to know which categeory you are intending to use and whether you have enough time remaining in the chosen bank to meet your needs. Vacation hours, floating holiday and birthday hours are listed separately on paystubs to assist20you in this process of monitoring your available time in each category.
If you have any further questions in this area please feel free to contact me again.
I found out recently that it is now the operators responsibility to keep track of all this stuff but I AM 99%CERTAIN that my paycheck going into this sign up said 50 HOURS vacation time, which would make this an error not of my doing.
Unfortunately I don't keep my stubs around. Actually I don't even look at them. If my take home pay looks reasonable I just throw them out.
The 'floaters' and 'birthday' are not listed anywhere on the pay stub.
You just have to remember what you were doing up to a year ago.
Some of us are getting older and our memories are not what they used to be. Starting a whole new data base just to keep track of days off is not something I imagined would be required of me.
I just don't understand why this can't be an automatic adjustment in situation where the operator has put down the wrong category of time off, which is the way it used to be
It's unfortunate that we now have to be BOOK KEEPERS in addition to our regular duties as bus operators.
Thanks again for your Help,
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
| TriMet puts some bus routes on chopping block|
Northwest Cable News - Portland,OR,USA
The economic recession has hit TriMet and public transit will be cut back in order to save cash even as ridership continues to increase. ...
See all stories on this topic
| TriMet details proposed Hillsboro service cuts|
Hillsboro Argus - OregonLive.com - Hillsboro,OR,USA
TriMet would stop running the 47 bus on Evergreen Parkway and Baseline Street on weekends, and stop running the 48 bus on Cornell Road on Sundays. ...
See all stories on this topic
KATU - Portland,OR,USA
A service cut is coming to TriMet riders because of the faltering economy, according to officials at the transit agency. Officials said some little-used ...
See all stories on this topic
Saturday, February 14, 2009
So what did we learn during President Barack Obama's visit to Elkhart, IN on Monday?
Here's one thing:
When it comes to taking questions, it appears Obama is fair and balanced. In Elkhart, he made that point clear at the start, informing his audience that those who would be called upon to ask questions had not been pre-screened.
You might recall Obama's predecessor was so disinclined to hear from critics that a 2005 Fox News piece looked into "how far President Bush will go to ensure friendly, sympathetic audiences at his town hall-style forums.
Obama explained his philosophy on the matter this way: "We want to take questions from everybody."
So when the Elkhart crowd booed mildly at a woman who asked about Cabinet nomination controversies, Obama cut them off.
"No, no," he said. "Look, I think it was a perfectly legitimate question."
It was. And it was a reminder that all politicians should expect and welcome questions from those who perhaps didn't vote for them.
(This post is strictly the opinion of Ross Wrede and not the owner of this blog.)
Friday, February 13, 2009
Initial budget cut of 5 percent may not involve frontline employee layoffs. Feedback from employees will be important as we refine proposed service cuts.
2/13/09 What service reductions mean to Operations
Stephen R. Banta, Executive Director Operations
Earlier this week General Manager Fred Hansen announced that due to the economic recession, TriMet is making a 5 percent budget cut across the board for fiscal year 2010. This includes a reduction in service. Today, a detailed list of proposed service cuts was put on TriNET for employees to review and comment on. Please take a moment to look at it and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important question that is being asked by many employees is, "What does this mean for my job?" I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to reach our new budget targets without laying off frontline employees. There are numerous variables at play that will impact our ability to achieve that goal, including the federal stimulus package, revenues from the payroll tax vs. projections, and natural employee attrition rates.
The proposed service reductions add up to approximately 70 fewer operator positions. That sounds alarming, but there are some important offsets that should help to ease your mind. We have stopped hiring classes of new operators. We will be hiring additional rail operators and controllers for Green Line, as well as additional rail and bus supervisors--all from the existing operator ranks. When you then figure in operator retirements, even if less retire than projected, we may be able to weather the 5 percent cut in service without laying off operators.
We are looking through every part of the Operations budget to make cuts strategically, including materials and services, allocations of overtime, and our management structure. Over the years, many efficiencies were gained through PIP such that there aren't many areas in our division where we are "fat." For example, in Bus Maintenance there are 33 fewer employees today than in 2001. This is extraordinary, given that they have successfully maintained and dramatically raised the reliability of a fleet of aging buses. Because the proposed reduction does not substantively change the number of vehicles we will be running, I cannot cut any more frontline positions from Bus or Rail Maintenance. Similarly, our need to keep up the state of good repair and cleanliness of our facilities, bus stops and rail platforms does not change, so I will not be cutting Facilities Maintenance frontline positions.
I want to emphasize that the work each and every one of you do is critically important to successfully delivering service to our customers. Please, take some time to look at the proposal and let us know what you think. Your input is important, and your comments will be read and taken seriously.
Thank you in advance for your support.
- No changes
- Limit Fareless Square to rail only
- Adjust the Lloyd District boundaries
- Institute a $1 fare
You can help decide the future of Fareless Square.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland,OR,USA
Monday, February 9, 2009
Great news regarding the new 2900 buses assigned to Merlo garage. Having worked at Merlo my entire 12 year TriMet career, most of us operators feel that Merlo has been slighted in the past with bus assignments.
I have one favor to ask. Could it be possible to rotate at least temporarily some of the new buses into as many routes as practical? I drive a 62 line, and it normally gets the oldest of the oldest of the fleet. The passengers get really excited on those rare occasions when a low floor (usually a 10+ year old 2000 series) rolls into their stop.
Steve Banta's response:Low floor buses are assigned to routes based on ridership and passenger needs. We will assess where they are best placed into the system. I do not know the make up of the Line 62 offhand, so we'll see. I will have a better idea of how they will be distributed later this week. Thanks for the suggestion.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
In-Depth: Where bikes and streetcar collide (Part Two)
BikePortland.org - Portland,Oregon,USA
(Watch out for Mr Smith!)
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland,OR,USA
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The Oregonian also did a story where they stated for the record that "Fred Hansen was on vacation".
Well anyway I have been told by someone who works directly with Fred that he was indeed there during the storm and was just doing some errands at that time picking up gifts for the holiday. It's a reasonable enough explanation from a reliable source. I'm sure that the person relating this to me would not make it up just to defend Fred.
Apparently during the last storm Fred walked all the way to Center Street from the West side of the Ross Island bridge. (boy, I wish I could have seen that!)
OK, so I believe that Fred actually was at work at that time.
Question #1; Why was the Oregonian told that Fred was on vacation when they did the WES bailout story, which was during that storm.
Question #2; Why did FRED not make even one public statement during the storm.
Finally; this is from the staff person that works directly with Fred, someone we can believe:
I'm not a cheerleader for Fred, and I certainly don't always agree
with his strategies. On two issues, though, I have a lot of respect
for the man. He has a very strong work ethic and I have never seen
him make demands of employees that he's not willing to meet himself,
and he has made a commitment that layoffs are the last option in the
budget when times are bad. As a non-union employee, this is
particularly important to me personally, of course.
by Steve Banta — last modified
The first of 40 New Flyer buses was delivered today, more to arrive next week.
Stephen R. Banta, Operations Executive Director
I am pleased to let you know that we received the first of 40 new low-floor buses from the bus manufacturer today. The pilot bus, which was manufactured in
The pilot bus, #2901, will be on display at all three garages next week for employees to look at, and is expected to go into service within the next two weeks. The new buses have 2007 emission compliant engines, and to help with driver comfort they feature adjustable sets of brake/accelerator pedals and electric assist steering with a smaller diameter steering wheel. They also feature additional break lights for visibility to following motorists, additional exterior lights to enhance pedestrian safety, and rear-facing cameras on the driver's side.
Additional buses will begin arriving in the next week.
Pilot bus 2901Come and take a look at #2901 at:
Center Street: Monday, Feb. 9, Track 4
Powell: Tuesday, Feb. 10
Do you have questions or thoughts about the new buses? Share them with me at email@example.com.