Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Inattentive Transit Operators

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately.

I've noticed it happening over the last month to month-and-a-half. At least twice a day. In fact, it happened FIVE TIMES on my ride to work this morning.

I've noticed bus drivers failing to stop to let passengers off. They'll either miss the stop completely, or they'll slam on the brakes just after the stop - sending any unfortunate souls who happen to be standing onto the floor.

Sure, I could understand it if the passenger rang the bell just before the stop, but nine cases out of ten, this occurs with ample time for the driver to stop.

I've also noticed drivers simply not stopping at all for people standing at the bus stop. This doesn't happen too often, but I did notice it this morning. Poor guy was out in the open, clear as day - you'd really have to be daydreaming to miss him - but the driver failed to stop.

Now, I know Winnipeg Transit has been on a bit of a hiring spree lately, and there are a lot of new, inexperienced operators out there. Hey, we've all been the new guy (or gal) and there's always a learning curve. But (there's always a "but"), the problem isn't limited to the newbies. I've noticed more and more of the regular, long-serving operators making the same mistakes.

What gives?

Some of the incidents I've noticed can be chalked up to plain ol' inattentiveness, others to carelessness, and a couple to honest mistakes. What I don't get is why the incidents seem to be increasing?

Are our drivers overworked? Stressed out? Inexperienced? Is it merely human error?

I only ask, because I'm getting a little tired of the sudden "panic stops", hard braking, and the fact that I ended up wearing my coffee this morning.

Again.

For the third time in the last ten working days.