Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 21, 2009

Mike Feldman poses a question


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.

Do you have questions or thoughts about the consolidation of the two classifications? Share them with me at

gang brawl at beaverton

Fight breaks out at Beaverton MAX station

Bogdanski has been reading one of my blogs

occasionally he does make a lot of sense.