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TriMet looking for an "easy button" to let drivers report close calls

easy-button I stopped by the meeting of TriMet’s disability access committee today, and picked up some tidbits:

  • TriMet offers $1,000 to anti-vandalism tipsters. Trouble is, TriMet’s most commonly vandalized sign is the one advertising its anti-vandalism offer.
  • The agency is preparing to buy 55 buses in late 2011 and trying to decide whether it’s worth adding another 3 to 6 inches of turnaround space for wheelchairs, or eliminating some seats to make more room for mobility devices at the front of buses. One bus model also has a much shallower slope to its access ramp (7:1 rather than 6:1) by using a floor hinge to extend the slope inside the bus itself.
  • The agency’s recent job posting for a few part-time bus drivers, the first such hiring since February ’09, is needed because they’re about to start pulling every operator off the job once a year for safety training. There’ll be written and live tests. "If an operator does not pass … we will keep training them until they do," safety trainer Allen Morgan said.

But here’s my favorite:

  • TriMet’s IT department is looking for a simple way that busy operators could record the location of a close call on the road, just after it happens. There’d be no crash report needed, because there was no crash – but it’d let the agency start gathering hard data on trouble spots before a tragedy occurs.

Brilliant! This sounds like a great job for Portland’s geeks.

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