Safety, a ‘wheel’ concernJune 27th, 2012
by Jennifer Zielinski – Story: 77143
Jun 27, 2012
It may have come a moment too late, but at least new safety measures will be making their way into the Okanagan.
Drivers and mechanics for BC Transit will now have an easier way to check if the wheels on the bus have been properly secured.
Maribeth Burton, the media spokesperson for BC Transit, says the safety mechanism is called a wheel pointer.
“When the wheels have been recently adjusted or tire work has been done, blue wheel pointers will be placed on the wheel (around the lug nuts).”
She says the colours will remind mechanics they need re-torque the wheels after their next shift. When all the nuts have been secured they will be changed go to a green colour, which means good to go.
The wheel pointers will remain on for only a short period of time, to indicate they have been recently worked on.
Burton says the wheel pointers are an extra level of safety as transit buses receive frequent maintenance on tires, approximately a couple times a month, due to the number of hours the vehicle spends on the road.
The wheel pointers will be coming to Kelowna this week, had they already been in place they might have helped to prevent a Kelowna bus from losing its wheel on Monday.
A bus leaving a third party mechanic lost two wheels while driving into service.
Burton says this incident could have been avoided if the wheel pointers safety mechanism had already been in place in the Kelowna region.
“We had been testing them out in Victoria over the last couple of months and they have been really successful. We wanted to roll them out to the regional properties, but there was a supply and demand issue.”
After Monday’s incident, Burton says BC Transit took proactive steps to get the wheel pointers into the Kelowna region immediately.
The cost of the wheel pointers for the Kelowna region will be $4400 for the fleet.
Triangle buses to practice using I-40 shoulderJune 26th, 2012
June 26, 2012
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Drivers for a Research Triangle-area public transit system are beginning training on a program designed to help them avoid traffic jams on Interstate 40.
Triangle Transit begins training Tuesday along the shoulder of I-40 in Durham County to prepare for the Buses on Shoulders System program, which starts next month.
The state Department of Transportation and Triangle Transit have created the state’s first BOSS program. It allows buses to travel on the shoulders of selected highways in times of heavy traffic congestion to help maintain schedules and bypass problem areas.
Buses would only use the shoulders when travel speed falls below 35 mph. The buses can’t move faster than 15 miles per hour than the traffic they’re passing, and never go faster than 35 miles per hour on the shoulder.
NTD Safety and Security Reporting WebinarJune 26th, 2012
On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern time, NTI in cooperation with FTA is offering a free webinar to present training on the NTD basic Setup/Non-Major Incident Reporting Module.
24th Annual WYTRANS ConferenceJune 20th, 2012
The annual WYTRANS Conference will be held in Gillette, Wyoming from June 20 to June 22, 2012 at the Campbell County Senior Center. Conference participants can look forward to a variety of informative training sessions and workshops.
Iowa Public Transit Association Annual MeetingJune 20th, 2012
The Iowa Public Transit Association will hold its Annual Meeting at the Ramada Inn located in Waterloo, IA on June 20 to June 23, 2012. Public transit professionals from across the state will gather together for training and informational sessions.
KCATA is First Transit Agency to Implement Gunshot Detection System, in Conjunction with KC PoliceJune 15th, 2012
(Kansas City, Mo.-June 7, 2012) Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) are deploying ShotSpotter, an acoustic technology that provides detailed information on gunshots fired. This is believed to be the first joint ShotSpotter project between a police department and transit agency.
The project is being funded with $720,000 from KCATA’s most recent bus rapid transit project. The funds became available when KCATA’s Troost MAX Green Line was completed under budget. KCATA was the lead agency in the planning and procurement of the ShotSpotter service for the KCPD. This is an effort to support Kansas City’s proactive policing strategies and deployments, in its ongoing commitment to improve the safety, security and quality of life for its residents by ridding the city of gun crime and gun violence.
“Securing the funding to make this possible for Kansas City has been a long-term effort and a long time coming,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D–MO). “I am thrilled the day has finally arrived. My hope is this technology will help our excellent police officers get to victims more quickly, catch criminals more readily, and make our entire city a safer place to live.”
The gunfire data and intelligence provided by ShotSpotter Flex will be critical in supporting KCPD’s policing and enforcement efforts across all areas of their operations. Not only does it enable the KCPD to respond faster and more safely to gunfire incidents, but the solution also allows officers to proactively develop effective problem-oriented, data-drive policing strategies and tactical deployments.
“ShotSpotter has the power to get officers to shooters and victims very quickly,” said KCPD Chief Darryl Forté. “I’ve done the research, and it’s a great crime-fighting tool. Even before I was chief, it was something I wished the Kansas City Police Department could have, but we never could identify a funding source for it.”
Once implemented, KCPD will also be able to gather more detailed gunfire incident information and forensic evidence for investigations and analysis, resulting in increased prosecutions for gun-related crime, and the data will enhance crime analysis and predictive policing capabilities, leading to improved public safety and security.
KCPD is undertaking a comprehensive approach to resolving crime issues, and has collaborated with various entities including the KCATA, City of Kansas City, community organizations and supporters, all working together to reduce gun violence and combat its negative impact to the community. KCPD will deploy the technology in areas with high incidents of gunfire.
“We are honored to begin working with Chief Forte, the Kansas City Police Department and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to improve community safety, and having the support of federal, state and local officials is critical to our success in helping combat gun violence effectively.” said Ralph A. Clark, President and CEO of SST. “Our work enables cities and communities to create comprehensive gun violence reduction programs, and technology and data are critical components. We are committed to providing the Kansas City Police Department the critical information and expertise needed to combat gun crime.”
KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer said he is proud that this unique partnership will serve and protect citizens.
“We believe this is the first deployment in the country of ShotSpotter through this type of partnership,” said Mark Huffer, General Manager of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. “We are pleased to partner with the City of Kansas City and the KCPD to play a role in elevating the level of safety to the community, as well as to our customers and employees.”
Report to Congress on Catastrophic Hurricane Evacuation Plan EvaluationJune 8th, 2012
This assessment of Federal and state evacuation plans by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security presents their findings and the issues and lessons learned from evacuations associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other recent hurricanes.
TIA teams up with Michelin on trainingJune 7th, 2012
June 07, 2012
In recognition of the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s (RMA) National Tire Safety Week (NTSW) June 3-9, 2012, Michelin North America Inc. and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) have partnered on a tire training video.
Produced for the tire and transportation industries, “CSA Tire Inspection” covers the guidelines for inspecting truck tires under the new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
“We are proud to partner with Michelin and support FMCSA’s efforts to improve safety on our nation’s highways,” said Dr. Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president. “This video will help the industry educate drivers and technicians on the federal inspection regulations for truck and bus tires.”
“Michelin is strongly committed to the safety of the transportation industry,” said Doug Jones, customer engineering support manager for Michelin. “This commitment is why we have partnered with TIA over the years to produce this series of safety related videos. We strongly encourage fleets, owner-operators and other industry personnel to utilize this and the other training videos to help promote safety in our industry.”
The CSA Tire Inspection video is available for free download or viewing at michelintruck.com under the Tool Box tab or at youtube.com/michelintruck. Previous Michelin/TIA videos (In Shop Safety, Wheel End Safety, Tubeless Radial Truck Tire Safety, and Commercial Road Service) are also available for no charge at the Michelin truck website.
Human Fatigue and Speed Cited by NTSB as Probable Cause of Motorcoach Crash that Killed 15 in New York CityJune 5th, 2012
June 5, 2012
WASHINGTON – A severely fatigued motorcoach driver who lost control of the vehicle was the cause of a horrific crash in New York City last March, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said today.
On March 12, 2011, at about 5:38 a.m., a motorcoach operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, and carrying 32 passengers, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City when it departed the roadway, struck a guardrail, overturned onto its right side before colliding with a vertical highway signpost. The signpost structure entered the passenger compartment along the base of the windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the vehicle body for almost the entire length of the motorcoach. As a result of the crash, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
“This crash, one of three fatal U.S. bus crashes in rapid succession last year, is one of the deadliest bus accidents the NTSB has ever investigated,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman.
An examination of the driver’s work schedule, sleep times and cell phone use, revealed that his opportunity for sleep in the 72 hours prior to the crash would have been limited to short periods of three hours or less resulting in what the NTSB described as “acute sleep loss and cumulative sleep debt.”
Citing speed as a factor in the crash, the NTSB determined that the motorcoach, which had reached speeds as high as 78 mph in the 60 seconds prior to the crash, was traveling at least 64 mph in the 50 mph speed zone for at least 10 seconds before it struck the guardrail. Using a computer simulation, investigators found that had the motorcoach been traveling at the speed limit of 50 mph, it might not have overturned and the driver may have been able to steer away from the guardrail.
“Fatigue and speed are an especially lethal combination,” said Hersman. “Unfortunately, in investigation after investigation, we are seeing the tragic results of fatigue, which can degrade every aspect of human performance.”
The motorcoach operator was cited as contributing to the accident because of its lax safety oversight of the driver, which stemmed from what the NTSB called “a corporate culture that fostered indifference to passenger safety.” Shortly after the crash, World Wide Travel was placed out of service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and most of the officials, supervisory personnel and dispatchers continued to work for its sister company, Great Escapes, which is currently operating.
Among the other items identified in the NTSB’s extensive report, are improved and more comprehensive CDL background checks and records sharing, advanced speed-limiting technologies, highway barrier design standards and guidelines, on-board monitoring systems to prevent accidents including those involving fatigue, safety management systems, and occupant restraint systems.
As a result of its 15-month-long investigation, the NTSB made a total of 16 safety recommendations to the Federal Carrier Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, and motorcoach associations.
A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the safety recommendations, is available at http://go.usa.gov/dIZ. The full report will be available on the website in several weeks.
Use of public transit is soaring in 2012June 5th, 2012
June 4, 2012
By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY
Use of public transit is soaring. Transit agencies had record or near-record ridership in the first three months of the year, thanks to high gas prices, a mild winter and, in one city, the Super Bowl.
At least a dozen communities set records for the number of people riding buses, trains and light rail, even though some cut service because of tight budgets, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
More people returning to work helped, says Michael Melaniphy, the association’s president and CEO.
He says ridership on what’s called heavy rail — subways and elevated trains — increased in 14 of the 15 systems that have such transit. Use of light rail — streetcars and trolleys — rose in 25 of the 27 cities that have it. And 34 of 37 large cities saw increases in bus ridership.
“It’s nationwide,” Melaniphy says. The result: fuller trains and buses straining the capacity of systems.
Public transit systems nationwide are breaking records for ridership in the first three months of 2012 compared with first quarter 2011:
City, 2012 ridership, Increase from 2011:
• Indianapolis, 2.5 million, 20%
• Fort Myers, Fla., 1 million, 17%
• Charlotte, 6.8 million, 10%
• Ann Arbor, Mich., 1.7 million, 9%
• Boston, 99.2 million, 8%
• Dayton, Ohio, 2.4 million, 8%
• Ithaca, N.Y., 1.09 million, 6%
• Tampa, 3.7 million, 6%
• Olympia, Wash., 1.3 million, 4%
• San Diego, 21.8 million, 2%
Source: American Public Transportation Association
In Indianapolis, ridership on IndyGo’s 30 bus routes was up 20% in the first three months of this year compared with that period last year, from 2.1 million rides to 2.5 million. Thousands of visitors for the Super Bowl in February, combined with a mild winter that made it easier for people to wait outside for a bus, contributed to the increase, says Bryan Luellen, an IndyGo spokesman. But the agency has a tight budget, he says, and as more riders fill the buses, there is little room to expand.
“There are definitely loads where you can’t handle demand, such as during rush hour,” he says. Many riders don’t have a car or take the bus because it is cheaper than driving.
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System saw a record first quarter: 21.8 million rides on its three light-rail lines and 89 bus routes. The previous first-quarter record was 21.4 million in 2009.
Passengers such as Milt Phegley, 60, are one reason. Phegley calls himself a “choice rider,” someone who could drive to work but chooses to ride the light rail and bus. He says he became a daily rider because of rising gas prices, which averaged $4.35 a gallon in May in California. He said a 40% discount from his employer on the $72 monthly transit pass didn’t hurt.
Every month, Phegley says, he sees more riders.
“If you can be flexible and adjust your schedule, it may work for you,” he says. “But you need to look at things differently. There may be delays sometimes, and you may not get a seat sometimes.”