by Carl, 12/20/2012, 8:04 AM

Now that there has been some time with the free ride area gone, here are some random things I’ve been wondering. Some of them I’ve mentioned on Facebook or Twitter, but mostly, it’s just off the top of my head.

- Do you say “thank you” if you’re exiting from the rear? I don’t but enough people do that it makes me wonder if I’m being impolite.

- How many times do you yell “Back door, please” before you walk to the front? I think two.

- Is there a better way for bikes and buses on Third Ave? I don’t even take my bike on Third, because yikes. It’s probably not great for bike lanes. I don’t know if there’s a better solution than bikes being more visible and obvious how they’re going to move. Not really novel to Third?

- Are the drivers trying to stop with the back door open in front of a tree or a telephone poll?

- What’s the way they deal with fare evaders getting on the back? I’ve only seen it a couple times, but it seems like they go over the intercom asking once and then don’t do anything, but I don’t know if there’s a better way or if that’s official policy. I remember being on the bus in London once and the driver was like “we’re not moving until you pay.” That doesn’t seem good in the moment, but maybe longer term it makes more sense???

7 Responses to “Some Random Bus Questions”

1. MikeBoyScout spews:

1. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I do not. Depends mostly on noise levels and time of day. Early in the morning and late in the evening, folks are sleeping. Drivers don’t seem to care one way or another.

2. Once or twice, usually.

3. Don’t know.

4. Sometimes drivers seem oblivious about the location of backdoor and obstacles. Sometimes (and I can’t recall where right now) the bus stop itself limits the driver.

5. I’ve seen fare dodgers handled a number of ways. My preference is to ignore them. In the best circumstances the bus stands still while the driver argues with the dodger. In the worst (saw this only once) the dodger is armed, inebriated and threatening.
If you’re looking for a proposed solution I’d say the camera on the bus should take a photo and law enforcement should deal with it later. Obviously there would need to be driver interaction with the monitoring system.

2. ArtFart spews:

If I’m exiting from the rear, if I have line-of-sight with the driver’s “inside rear-view mirror” I’ll wave and say “Thank you” just loudly enough for him or her to be able to hear me. I won’t bother if the aisle is full of people.

As to (5)…that’s more or less up to the driver, and I’d say most would tell you is that last thing they need is both an uncooperative passenger and one or more vigilante passengers trying to “help”.

Different drivers deal with situations in different ways. I’ve seen one instance where someone got on the eastside RapidRide who was clearly off her meds–got on board and balked at paying the fare, asked for directions and then argued about the answer she got (I’m pretty sure she was headed in the wrong direction), and stomped all the way to the back seat. She continued raving for about a block and a half, at which point the driver pulled over to the curb, stood up (he must have been at least six foot six) and boomed out “OK, LISTEN UP. EITHER YOU GET OFF RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW, OR YOU SHUT UP!!!”. She shut up.

Several other times I’ve observed a driver use the dispatch radio to request police assistance at a later stop. Half the time the request got cancelled because the jerk or jerks got off anyway. In a “worst-case” scenario (such as someone armed and belligerent) where I felt the driver and passengers (including myself) were clearly in danger, I’d try to get off at the next stop and call 911 on my cellphone.

3. Serial conservative spews:

Since it’s a random thread, should we be arming bus drivers, or putting security guards on all of the buses? How about bulletproof enclosures to protect the bus drivers?

I mean, if RR

wants to drop $50B on protecting schools, then buses can’t be far behind, can they?

And would there be a different security guard for the back door than for the front door?

Would they be called bus marshals instead of security guards?

Since it’s a form of transportation, should we just expand TSA to handle it? They already want to unionize, so it would be a bigger, stronger union, right? That’s a good thing around here.

And if it’s a choice between metal detectors

on buses or a disabled access device, which do we choose?

It’s all so confusing now that we have to protect everybody from everything………

4. No Time for Fascists spews:

@3 No it’s not if you think and get out of your ideological bubble. There a logical prudent steps we can take. Yet, by your head up your ass logic because they are not 100% safe, we should not not try. You are a complete ass.
Let’s work on limiting mass shooting in schools first. If mass shooting on transit becomes an issue, we work on that next.
Jump Serial, Jump!

5. Sue B spews:

As to “fare evaders”, it’s perfectly legal to get on at the back door if you have tapped your Orca card on a reader at the bus stop. So you won’t be able to tell who is evading and who is not. It’s the “honor system”. And sometimes there are Metro people who get on the bus and check to make sure everyone has paid. Otherwise, the bus driver isn’t required to worry about it anymore.

6. EvergreenRailfan spews:

The one time a bus driver was shot in the line of duty, he had his hands full just trying to keep the bus on the road, and the bus careened off the Aurora Bridge. The Driver, Mark Mclaughlin(I hope I got his name right), the gunman, and another passenger were killed.

7. EvergreenRailfan spews:

As for thinking a driver when getting off in the rear, for me, depends on the bus. If it’s a 40ft bus, I do, if it’s a 60ft articulated bus, no, the driver would not hear it anyway.