There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Efficiency _and_ safety: Can Sacramento Regional Transit have both?

Last week, I blogged about RT's apparent inability to get a handle on bus driver and train operator absences and the price the district pays in overtime expense as a result.

OK, you may have missed that. It wasn't exactly clear from either the "Showing up for work at Sacramento Regional Transit" post or the earlier "Meanwhile, back at The Bee . . ." But it was the point of The Bee's original editorial.

My bottom line:

When Paratransit-qualified riders are looking at a loss of their free rides and all riders are looking at a possible increase in fares, then RT bus drivers and light rail operators need to do their job -- or RT management needs to do its job.
So apparently something is being done -- and the push-back has begun.

For Labor Day, the RT Driver guy had an ominous post.
Cutting corners, skirting established and proven policies in order to save an hour of overtime 4 or 5 times a day is unacceptable.

When RT mandates that all divisions minimize overtime, I can understand the premise. If you face the reality of shrinking funds, some changes will obviously be in order.

NOT changes which endanger the lives of RT Workers.

While RT is in the throws of a budget emergency, the safety nose should not be cut off to spite the defecit face.
One wonders whether the comment from "justadriver" illustrates the opinion of the majority of drivers and operators:
I don't know....When the hell has the exec board or for that matter the management from rt given a rat's shit for its front line employee's? Management continues to promote supervisors that don't have a clue about what a supervisor really is and couldn't make it in a for profit business. Our union continues its disfuntionality by trying as hard as it can to steal what it can from us and still does nothing but blow hot air (yes you Ralph). Instead of working on a decent wage, they work on getting themselves the best retirement possible. So as a driver we are stuck between assholes on both sides and still have to put up with the public and their inability to grasp our fare structure or learn that our faces are not their private spittoons. We lost a great deal with the exit of Manny, Joe and Diane, who were are only advocates.

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