another week another complaint :)

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Noah Mustion
Participant
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And let’s be honest. The T is a cross-section of some real scary people of the PGH metro area… it’s like Deliverance on rails


edmonds59
Participant
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JZ has implied a bigger problem that has been bubbling in my head, regarding bus drivers shouting, commenting, otherwise harassing cyclists. The driver sets an example, and sorry if I offend any humans out there, but humans are at times just really dumb pack animals, and if they didn’t have any opinion or association with cyclists before, they will readily adopt the direction of the big stupid dog in the front, so now you have 30 more people who think bikes don’t belong on the road.


Willie
Participant
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I think the worse thing about riding into the city on the T with my bike was how people on the train would treat me. I would see the same people every morning. After a few times of the driver giving me a hard time they would all stare and give me dirty looks as I brought my bike to the rear of the train. They all knew that at any minute the driver might stop the train and tell me to get off, holding up their commute. Apparently it was easier to get mad at me then the people that are really causing the problem. I just don’t see why other passenger care if there is a bike in the back of the train.

Although there was a day when I walked to the back of the train with my bike and a man moved over to give me room and said nice bike. We talked a bit and he told me his name was Scott and he owned a brewery. That was the only pleasant T ride I have ever taken. About a year later I met Scott again while following him pulling a keg on his bike. Very nice guy


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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“…humans are at times just really dumb pack animals…”

You give us too much credit.


sprite
Participant
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Hell has been raised via multiple channels and sources tell me widespread reeducation (and individual talking-to for the operator) will commence. Whether it commences before tomorrow’s commute, we’ll see. :)


Marko82
Participant
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@sprite. Enter the phone number of the PAT police into your cell phone. Next time the driver won’t let you on and starts taking your stuff – remain calm and call the police. When they show up, show them the “official PAT policy” and make sure that a report is filed. I’m betting the driver will change his ways before you have to file a second report. The police may even offer to drive you to work (they drove me to work once after a confrontation with a driver many years ago). And forget about what the other passingers say- they’re just sheep!


dwillen
Participant
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Not sure if this person is a board poster or not but they were upset by the way the guy treated you too:

@PGHtransit I am glad to hear action is being taken — I was in that car and was offended by the way he treated the lady

about 1 hour ago via web in reply to PGHtransit

@PGHtransit What is the point in promoting bikepgh when your T drivers are kicking folks off the T for having folding bikes with them??

about 2 hours ago via web in reply to PGHtransit

@PGHtransit 8:53 T fr Mt Leb was delayed 2nd day in row by driver incorrectly saying no folding bikes allowed before 9

about 5 hours ago via web


sprite
Participant
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@marko82 thanks for the tip, I’m entering that number right now.


sprite
Participant
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He came back today and said “let’s do this the right way”

I said “what’s the right way” (not sure what “this” meant).

He wanted the fold-up seating folded up because “nothing can be in the aisles.” Fine by me. I’ll fold the seat in the morning and we both win. No evening driver has ever cared.

Sure wonder whether he does it for strollers or a suitcase though.

There were few other passengers but talking with one of them, the reason the average nonbiker thinks “bikes is bikes” (like (guinea) pigs is pigs if we’re still on old Disney) is that the *schedule* only states the garden variety bike policy, therefore how could there be any other. I know of 2 other folders on my route – a Giant and a Citizen – don’t know if it’s worth asking for a sentence added to schedules (could lead to more people buying a folder… hm.)


Steven
Participant
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A new sentence on the schedules? Maybe just a new word: “non-folding”, to be inserted before “bicycles”.

Glad to hear the operator’s been retrained.


dmtroyer
Participant
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I surely hope he apologized.


Willie
Participant
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Since the metro north railroad is the only other light rail system I’ve ever used I figured I would check out their rules on taking bikes on the train.

http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/bikerule.htm


Morningsider
Participant
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@ejwme “Steamboat Willie” was the original Mickey Mouse Cartoon.


sprite
Participant
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@dmtroyer Many people are not man enough to apologize when in the wrong and like them he overlooked this unique opportunity for personal growth.


erok
Keymaster
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what are the chances that this is the same driver that was fired for the LRT slowdown?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11027/1120955-455.stm


wojty
Participant
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Sadly, I think there is more than one bad apple in the union, so the chances are not as high as we would hope.

[anti-union/corproation rant]

The PAT union really needs to get it’s act together as much as PAT in general does. This whole slowdown issue is a prime example of corporate bureaucracy and unions working as ineffectively and inefficiently as possible. The issues causing those problems are also causing the problems when it comes to transit sharing from the original issue of this thread.[/end rant]


Lyle
Participant
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Another chart showed minimum 90 percent on-time service along the light-rail routes, except for February 2010, a month with major snowstorms. The average on-time service last year was 96 percent

I wonder what the on-time rate is for the bus routes. Not fair? The busway routes, at least, should be a fair comparison.

I also wonder how they define on-time.

I’ve noticed bus drivers really hauling lately. Stopping hard, accelerating hard. If they’re being pushed to meet an unrealistic schedule, they’re taking it out on the equipment.

One bus driver I talked to said that they are STRONGLY discouraged from being early but there’s no real problem with a little lateness, which is good.

However, I saw that she was checking her times against a paper printout next to her, which I’d rather see her keeping her attention on the road, the passengers, whatever — even stopped at a light.

On the other hand, I’ve overheard passengers complaining about “slow drivers” who stop and idle to get back on schedule, because they would rather “get home sooner”.

Not seeing the big pitcher…


Mick
Participant
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@lyle I’ve noticed bus drivers really hauling lately. Stopping hard, accelerating hard. If they’re being pushed to meet an unrealistic schedule, they’re taking it out on the equipment.

Doubt that it is an unrealistic schedule. More like “I can hang at the end of the route for an extra 5 minutes if I haul it.”

On the weekends change “5 minutes” to “20 minutes.”

When I rode the buses a lot, about 1/4 of the buses on the weekends ran early. Often so very early that you could show up a minute before scheduled time and not know you already missed it.

The rest were more likely to run late than would be caused by traffic.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I was at County Council’s special meeting last night with PAT brass and ATU 85. They did both have valid points about the rail slowdowns; I won’t belabor the details.

@sprite – I’d say the chances of that one operator canned being the one who gave you a hard time are slim, but more importantly, there’s bad mojo right now between labor and management, and guaranteed it’s going to filter down to how customers are treated.

@lyle – Standard Operating Procedure is that to be on-time, vehicles are to be zero to 5 minutes late, and definitely not early. I’ve found that being at the stop 4 to 5 minutes before arrival time gives me close to 100% chance of making the bus. A minute early does sometimes happen.

Time is built in at the end of each trip to allow the driver to get back on time in case traffic, wheelchairs, detours, etc., make them late.

If buses are running early, as verified by a reliable timepiece, mark it down and report it. I tweet (@bus15237) every trip I board with time, bus rt, bus dir, bus # and where I got on, for later reporting.


salty
Participant
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I always thought they were supposed to wait at the timepoints (black stars on the map) if they were early, but intermediate stops could be a bit early – is that true?

I usually try to show up 4-5 min early too, which seems to work out well. sigh – if only we could get real-time GPS locations.


Erica
Participant
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@lyle: I also wonder how they define on-time.

a few years back, when I was calling to report a bus that was 25 minutes late (during the time of day where it only ran every hour), and mentioned that it’s late every day, the operator told me that within ten minutes, they’re on time.

So maybe that’s why I’ll see so many instances of two of the same route within 5 minutes of each other, when it would otherwise never happen?


Steven
Participant
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I think buses on the same route naturally cluster. It’s because a bus running late tends to pick up more passengers than one running on time. (Say a stop gets bus service once an hour. If one bus shows up five minutes late, and every other bus is on time, it gets 65 minutes worth of passengers boarding.)

So that bus running late tends to fall a little further behind. As it becomes more crowded relative to the other buses on the route, it also must make more stops to discharge passengers, delaying it even more.

Meanwhile, an on-time bus behind the one that arrived five minutes late gets only 55 minutes worth of passengers from that same stop. So it tends to run faster than it would if the other bus ran on time. Unless the driver notices and slows down, he’s likely to start catching up to the late bus, since he’s serving fewer passengers than normal. (And if he does, then the bus behind him gets more passengers, slows down, and the pattern keeps filtering back.)

So evenly spaced buses are unstable, and tend to clump into pairs, once any minor delay sets them off.


Lyle
Participant
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RF: That’s what I find – I have to show up 5 minutes early to avoid being surprised by an early bus, and I can expect to wait until ten minutes past the schedule even for an “on time” bus, so on a good day, I could wait 15 minutes for an “on time” bus on a route with 20 minutes nominal between buses. For any trip of less than a mile, I might as well walk, and for any trip of less than 6 miles I’m farther ahead to bike.


ejwme
Participant
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Ok, slightly OT, but I couldn’t find a better PAT thread to gripe on.

Hubby got symphony tix for christmas, they’re tonight. He agreed to take the bus, to avoid parking – yay! But when I called PAT to see how to get home after (leaving downtown at 10PM), they said “sorry, that’s too late”. Too late? It’s Friday night! 10PM is when many people START to leave to go out. I guess club hoppers are expected to drive drunk or have a sober and patient friend or shell out for a taxi.

The closest we could get is to drive to Wilkinsburg station, take the EBA. Parking is free, but since there’s no game, there’s 5$ parking downtown, it’d cost more for us to do that than just drive the whole way in/out.

And I was all excited to take the bus. I’m getting tired of finding out about a cool route I didn’t know about, or finding a transit option, and then finding out that my requirements are just slightly off enough from the norm that it won’t work.

We’ve got opera tickets April 1st, maybe I can convince him to bike instead.


Marko82
Participant
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bicycle to the opera? Watch the hands, I said watch the hands…


edmonds59
Participant
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?

Well that’s interesting.

Helmets! Helmets, people!


salty
Participant
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where do we sign up for *that* ride?


Mick
Participant
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@edmonds Helmets! Helmets, people!

Why?

Helmet promotion isn’t completely harmless: It discourages riding wtihout a helmet and riding without a helmet is more healthy than not riding.

If you see a convincing study that helmets in adults are safer than no helmets? Please post it. I’ve looked for such a study and can’t find it. Plenty of excellent studies show there is no difference.


edmonds59
Participant
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Nah, I was just goofin.


Steven
Participant
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They’re in an opera. They’re likely to die tragically before the end of the last act anyway.


eMcK
Participant
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Not sure why I feel like getting into this tonight, but helmet studies are always flawed, because they never take into account the accidents where the use of a helmet prevented a serious enough injury to seek medical attention.

Like the time a got hit by a car at 30 miles an hour, or when I crashed and broke some teeth on a curb, or the 2 or 3 helmets I’ve broken riding off road.


quizbot
Participant
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My wife was hit by a pickup truck last year, landed on the back of her head, helmet saved her from serious injury. Had she wrapped her head in a study, the outcome would have been very different.

Studies don’t save brains, helmets do. At least that’s what my research shows.


Erica
Participant
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“Safety is no accident”


quizbot
Participant
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^ eric.

Agreed on studies being flawed. My wife did not need medical attention because she was wearing a helmet. No way for this data to be integrated in any study.


edmonds59
Participant
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Dang, my bad. I didn’t mean to start something. Not that time, anyway.


quizbot
Participant
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I believe there is some known equivalent to Goodwin’s Law when mentioning helmets in a cycling thread.


salty
Participant
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yeah, this thread was on the verge of a great turn before something bad happened.

can we get back to the guy with his hand on the gal’s boob, please?


quizbot
Participant
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Pgh needs a Naked Bike Ride.


quizbot
Participant
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I’m not suggesting that it should be some sort of groping festival BTW…. just randomly throwing it out there.


sloaps
Participant
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what better way to open the “missing link” between southside and homestead?

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