Tuesday, December 25, 2007

THATS RIDICULOUS, by jeff rose

This is what dawned on me tonight:

I've noted before that overall communications at Trimet is pretty sub-par. For
instance, we
might hear about a policy that is going to take effect somewhat in advance- but
we never
hear about it when it is initially being discussed. I have experienced this
outside of work to
with stuff relating to my neighborhood. So what dawned on me is that I know
more about my
work from what I read in the newspapers than I do from actual communications
management. How much have you all read in papers, or heard on the news- and
maybe on
various blogs about our current security issue? How much have you heard about
it through
communications at work??!! If I had a passenger who had obviously been reading
the papers
and asked me anything about what we are going to do to address our problem- I'd
have to
tell them that they probably know just as much as me. That's ridiculous.


We need a daily briefing, by jeff rose

First of all, Merry Christmas!!

Now that that's out of the way, I have a little story from the
weekend that highlights Trimet's biggest problem- communication.

Last week I received an email alert (one intended for the public
that I signed up for) that said that from 7 am Friday through the
end of service on Monday (I think) busses would not be going into
the parking lot at Clackamas Town Center. I think it was either on
Tuesday or Wednesday that I got the email. Any of the busses that
serve the Town Center (28,29,31,71,72,all the 150's that go there
etc) would pick up and drop off people around 85th and Monterey.
OK, great!

When I started asking people around the Powell garage- nobody had
heard ANYTHING about this. On thursday, the night before, the
station agent was stuffing notices into the pouches when I was
passing through on my way home and I asked her if they were for the
Town Center changes. Yes, they were. I asked here when SHE had
first heard about the temporary change- She said "less than an hour

On Friday I didn't go anywhere near the town center- I was doing the
15. I had the weekend off- but on Monday I was doing 72 in the
morning. I checked the pouch after I left the garage- no notice.
In the garage before I left- no notice about the change posted
ANYWHERE. After doing an off-line trip on the westside, I
deadheaded to Swan Island and fortunately I got there before my
leader left and he explained exactly what was going on at
Clackamas. Had I not signed up for public email alerts and had I
not been talking to people about this change- I would have probably
arrived at Clackamas Town Center completely unaware of what was
going on. The best official clue would have been a BDS Message that

"*Clack TC d'heading buses: please do NOT use the BACK entrance to
Clack TC from Sunnyside exit off I-205 use the CENTER lane exit, R-
Sunnyside, R-82, R-Monterey to Temp layover"


OK, what does this tell me? If I am clueless about what's going on
I'm going to think that there is an accident or something blocking
the normal "back door" entrance to the town center.

So in any case, what's wrong with posting a notice about the changes
a week before they happen so that operators know what the hell is
going on? Maybe we could actually tell all the passengers that
ride around the Clackamas area a couple days before it happens!!
Also, it would greatly cut down on our stress level if we are
adequately prepared for this kind of thing.

What could we do to set up a system of communications that will
allow operators greater access to this and other kinds of
information that will help us be better prepared in the future?

I would like a daily briefing of some sort posted somewhere in the
garage that gives us the heads up on a variety of things that are
going on around the company. Little snippets with contact
information for the person that we sould have to get in touch with
to learn more- or where to find more info on Trinet!!! In any case,
I'm tired of being out of the loop.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

listen to me, by jeff rose

Fred's speech to the City Club appears to be a pretty comprehensive plan of
attack- but
it's missing one thing. Howabout improving communication with your troops on

The "Enhanced Safety and Security Plan" suggests taking these steps:

1. Increase police presence and officers

2. Increase fare inspection

3. Improve maintenance of Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs)

4. Expand the Code of Conduct

5. Improve station areas

6. Reevaluate Fareless Square

7. Establish partnership with Victory Outreach Community Services, Inc.

I propose adding:

8. Improving communications with operators: operators are the organizations
eyes and
ears out on the street. Although they don't see everything that goes on, they
often times
observe the early behaviors that later result in crimes being committed both on
properties and in the areas surrounding them. Operators should feel that when
observe behavior that is in violation of Trimet code, they can easily reach a
dispatcher and
that the dispatcher will either notify a nearby supervisor, Wackenhut security,
or the police
depending on the situation. In order to improve communications with operators
should have at least one more dispatcher on duty at all times, and should place
emphasis on being able to communicate safety and security issues quickly when
the BDS
and VCHs are redesigned.

This should actually be number 1, if you ask me.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

wrong daycodes by Mark Tiedemann"

Hehehe speaking of wrong daycodes, That reminds me of a time I got
stranded once because the bus I transfered from (#6) the operator gave me
a transfer with the wrong daycode on it. I 30 minutes for my next bus to
come, (Forget which line it was, 96 I think). I show my transfer to the
operator, and he says, That's not valid, it's not the correct daycode, he
then shows me his transfers with the correct daycodes on it. I was
telling him how I just got off the #6 line and was handed this transfer
(the times all match up) but he told me that I can't ride because it's not
a valid transfer and I would have to pay the $2.00 if I wanted to ride his
bus. I had no money left as I spent my last $2.00 20 minutes ago on the
#6 bus, so I was refused a ride, and ended up haing to call someone to
come pick me up downtown and take me to work, (which I ended up being late
because of all of this).

The operator did tell me that it was my fault that I didn't ask the
operator for another transfer. Now my question is, how am I supposed to
know as a customer which daycode is being used that day? If an operator
hands me a transfer I'm going to assume all the information is correct on
it, it shouldn't be my job to ask him, now do you have the right daycode

Anyways, sorry to vent, but that just brougt up some memories.
Now I know I do vent alot, but I have had some great expierences riding
TriMet, (mainly on the west side) and I know there are great people who
work for the company, but sadly it's the small few that kind of ruin it
for everyone else.