another week another complaint :)

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sprite
Participant
#

Another commuter with a folding bike got on at the same T stop as me and my folder! Way cool. Then the driver tried to tell us over the P.A. that no bikes are allowed until 9! Lame and wrong … folders can be carried on folded anytime and they will pry the pamphlet that says so from my cold dead hands (figuratively speaking ).

I’m getting better at this (ha) and got the number of the front T car when we got off, told the other guy the car number, and submitted a complaint online. (4216 red line inbound from Mt Lebanon station at “8:51” am 9/14.)


rsprake
Participant
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How busy was the train?


steevo
Participant
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Can I pay port authority to sit in on one of their

driver trainings? I bed they provide beds.


edmonds59
Participant
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I would be surprised if this hasn’t been mentioned before, or even done, but looking at a broader picture, I’ll bet a constructive meeting between transit union reps and Bike Pgh might do wonders. A large chunk of Bike Pghrs are philosophical if not actual supporters of PAT, but the union may not realize that, and they should provide some give-back to the cycling community. It should be a coalition.


ejwme
Participant
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Was this an old policy? Where do they get some of this stuff? Do they just make it up? Or maybe they read it on one of those online forums they hang out on all day, where anybody who types with authority may be taken seriously… ;)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yep, keep on with the documentation. You’re right, they’re wrong, and there’s a system in place to correct things like that.

The people we need to connect with are the Trainers at each division, in this particular case, South Hills Village Rail Div. The Trainers are the ones who convey the rules to Operators, both newbie and veteran.

I believe they are represented employees, i.e., union not management, and thus more likely to be taken seriously. As opposed to the head of each div, who’s white collar, but who probably should be our site contact.

I’ll ask my PAT Liaison at tomorrow’s ACTC meeting if we can set something up.


Erica
Participant
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I had a question about them and bus racks – Is there any rhyme or reason as to which routes/times have racks? or is it just “Wherever it goes, it goes?”

I’ve waited through 3 buses with no racks before, and just because it takes longer to get up the hills without a bus, doesn’t mean it’s not an inconvenience…

I could just take the 51 instead of the 48, but I enjoy sitting and being dropped off at my front door.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Racks: No, not really any rhyme or reason. The stock answer is that about 3/4 of the buses are equipped. I don’t think the dispatchers pay attention to what routes are supposed to have them.

Enough do to make it attractive. Enough don’t to make it irritating.

The real answer is just to find about $200K to outfit the rest of the fleet.


Erica
Participant
#

eh, I figured as much, I was just hoping there was some kind of system, so I could keep myself busy until one that had a rack came, instead of standing there with my bike waiting forever.


sprite
Participant
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@rsprake no busier than usual I think – I take this T or the following one every day and ride in the second car (its doors only open at some stops for the bewilderment of new riders, so it tends toward half empty, at least in the evidently less-desirable backwards seating end.) It’s just this driver; the other biker indicated this is not the first time for him.


erok
Keymaster
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at the post agenda council meeting last week, a port authority employee said that they hope to have the buses near 100% outfitted with bike racks by the end of 2011/early 2012


Tabby
Participant
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curious if that is because they expect to have more racks or less buses out on the routes :/


rsprake
Participant
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Ouch


pinky
Participant
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Yeah, snap.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Actually, I was going to suggest that. If they close two garages (Harmar and Collier) and take a pile of routes off the road, they could mothball all the rackless buses. There are quite a few this doesn’t apply to — articulateds, 45-footers, STVs. Those aren’t likely to change. It also doesn’t help that we lose 35% of the system.

I reeeeeeally hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does, we’re looking at a lot fewer rackless buses in Jan 2011, not 2012.


rsprake
Participant
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If the cuts happen it’s unlikely I will be riding any busses due to the overcrowding!


kxm
Participant
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Yeah, if they take away the 61A, I may have a lot more questions about, um, riding in snow… :-/

UGH.


JZ
Participant
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They took away my bus (71C).


ejwme
Participant
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when I was a kid, it was the epitome of awesomeness to get on an “accordion bus” and sit or stand anywhere near the “bendy bit” and get a little dizzy when the bus bent as it moved. It seriously made my month when that happened. Makes me smile just thinking about it. I didn’t even realize that one would have to choose between the awesomeness of a bendy bus and the usefulness of a bike rack, kind of sad. But that touchy-feely memory gives me an idea…

Seems to me PAT could take advantage of some low cost PR bits – we’ve got a lot of arts students who might make commercials/PSAs/ on the cheap (for credit?). Could use them to publicize information, clear up misconceptions, promote good will. Wouldn’t cost much either – I bet there’d be ways to make it mostly free to them.

What’s up with that? Anybody ever see a PAT commercial or PSA?


sprite
Participant
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The operator is 7768.

He just threw me off the train! !!! OMG I’m sitting here in disbelief. He said his orders come from his super. I showed him the “we like bikes” pamphlet but he picked up my bike and bag and escorted me off.

I’m calling complaints as soon as I stop crying. Eh. Maybe sooner.


Tabby
Participant
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{sprite} so sorry!


ejwme
Participant
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Yeah, that’s seriously uncool. That’s indicative of supervisors failing at their jobs, time to talk to the supers’ super.

Are there vertical bars bolted to floor and ceiling on the T, like on buses, to hold on to? I’d get on and U-lock my bike to one. If the driver has to call for PAT police and a sawsall or grinder, you’ve got a better chance at getting a supervisor on the phone (maybe he’ll do it for you!). That would at least prevent operators from seizing your belongings and ejecting them. handcuffs to the same Ulock would prevent them from ejecting you either.

But I’m malicious and stubborn like that. I very strongly believe that people should follow the rules they make, or make different rules. None of this BS you’re going through. If they’re going to be illogical, rude, and unreasonable, they should at least be consistent.


Lyle
Participant
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Is the bike friday the folder that comes with a rolling suitcase you can fit the bike into?

I think it’s time for somebody (who doesn’t need a bike for the multimodal part of their commute) to get on sprite’s stop with a gigantic baby stroller.


sprite
Participant
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The other fun part was other people on the t saying hey lady we want to get to work.. well… so do I. “First they came for the cyclists but I wasn’t a cyclist so I did nothing.” srsly.

I shall email some politicians as well and also see if my employer has any channels. I’m not in the mood for getting arrested though.


Boazo
Participant
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@ supervisors failing at their jobs

I think its the drivers union that has the strict no bike policy, whereas PAT management probably made that pamphlet. So it might be a union vs management collision. I had a bus driver (not T) that always used to let me bring my bike (regular bike, not a folder) on the bus when there wasn’t a rack, but then one day he said another driver saw the bike in the bus and this other driver complained about it back at the garage . So my driver tells them that my bike is my wheel chair !, that I need it to get around. So he let me bring it on for awhile, but then he said he got called in to the trainers office and they said “you know thats not that guys wheel chair, don’t let him bring the bike on the bus “. So then he wouldn’t let me bring it on anymore. Oh, in that interimm period when he would let me bring it on, he told me to tell the PAT police that the bike was my wheel chair ( like there’s something wrong with my legs and I can’t walk) if they stopped me while I was getting off downtown. So the PAT police might be ‘in’ with the union.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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what time did this happen?


sprite
Participant
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8:53am (inbound Mt Lebanon.)


ejwme
Participant
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It doesn’t matter if it’s Union vs PAT.

Taking out their petty inner disputes on paying customers is not just bad for business, it smacks of immaturity and idiocy. Even Mickey Mouse would run a tighter ship than this.


edmonds59
Participant
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If it turns out to be union in origin, what possible freaking interest could the union have in excluding bikes from transit!!! (mini rant directed potentially at union, not people here on the board!).

Again, I think Bike Pgh should dialogue with the drivers union, we should be on the same side.


quizbot
Participant
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from their website:

“Foldable Bikes Allowed on Port Authority Vehicles

As part of a sustainable living initiative, Port Authority permits cyclists to bring their foldable bicycles onboard Port Authority buses, light-rail cars and the Monongahela Incline during peak and non-peak hours.

Folding bike users riding buses with bike racks are required to use the racks to secure their bicycles.”

Share some love on twitter @pghtransit


edmonds59
Participant
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ej, do you know anything about Disney? Mickey runs the tightest ship going.


Erica
Participant
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Does the port authority phone service still have a section for complaints? they used to take complaint messages 24/7, but now I think you have to call during the oh-so-convenient business hours to leave a complaint, if the option is still there (it wasn’t on july 4th, when they knew there would hundreds of out-of-towners for the phillies game, and when they knew of the major city function at the point, and that people like to party and wanted to go to the southside after, but still ran the horrifically infrequent sunday bus schedule.)


ejwme
Participant
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I dunno, edmonds, all the footage of Mickey on a ship I’ve ever seen showed all kinds of silly things happening, coordinated with some very lively music, but extremely silly. Maybe Sprite would have taken it better had all the seats sung to her in unison and the doors flopped open and closed to the beat as she was being thrown off.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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yeah, call and raise hell… this is unacceptable.


rsprake
Participant
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Email sbland at portauthority dot org as well and tell him your story.

For him to pick up your stuff and carry it off the train is so incredibly disrespectful and screams of unprofessionalism.


Willie
Participant
#

has this same driver tried to give you a hard time in the past? I ask because there one certain driver that has always been a jerk to me about taking my bike on the T and in the incline when he started running it on Saturdays.

When I first moved to Pittsburgh i was living in mt lebanon and taking the T inbound at 9 am. That would give me just enough time to ride from steel plaza to the strip to be to work at 10. Seems simple. The problem was that the rush hour ended at 9am, the train i would take came at 8:56. Most of the time the driver at that time would be ok with me getting on 4 minutes before rush hour was over, but there was always this guy that would tell me to get off the train. Then I would have to wait for the one at 9:20 and be late for work. The thing that would really piss me off tho is that half the time the 8:56 would be a few minutes late and it would be 9:00 by the time I was boarding it and would still be turned away. And I really hate how other passenger would start getting mad at me, calling me a asshole and telling me to get off the train becuase I would try to reason with the driver and would hold up the train.

I used to call and file complaints but honestly it was just easier to move to a place where I don’t have to count on the PAT system to help me. I am hoping that in the next 10 years things change but trying to use the T or buses in everyday life was just way to stress full for me. I would get to work and be in a bad mood because I spent my morning getting hassled. Or it would take 2 hours to get home because I would get turned away and have to wait for another train. That is just no way to go through life.


Mick
Participant
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Sprite, that is awful. There must be some recourse. If nothing else, maybe we could take up alegal fund and threaten to sue them.


helen s
Participant
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“Even Mickey Mouse would run a tighter ship than this.”

Would tht be Steamboat Mickey?


ejwme
Participant
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helen s – I do believe Steamboat Mickey is the guy in my head. Mickey used to be a total jerk, too, if I remember correctly. Those old cartoons did not paint him in the most polite light, even putting racism aside.

But Sprite’s experience just underlines the argument to do away with PAT entirely. If it’s the Union causing this problem, they’re just helping their own demise. Surely somebody over there might have the foresight to recognize that.


JZ
Participant
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This is ridiculous. I also think it’s terrible that other passengers were giving you grief. This is the general problem that we (as a community) are still trying to overcome – the idea that cycling is purely recreational, and as such should be treated as both completely optional and low-priority.

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