Problem with Port Authority Driver

← Back to Forums


bhattenb
Participant
#

I’ve had a problem with the same driver on about 5 different occasions over the past few months and I am seeking advice on how to get it solved.

Here’s the problem. I catch the bus with my bike on the East Busway inbound at the Negley Station each morning. Most drivers stop at the bus stop sign, but this one driver always pulls all the way up to the end of the station so that the front corner of the bus is even with the railing. This makes it impossible to put my bike on the bike rack without first lifting my bike over the railing and then climbing over the railing myself.

Needless to say, this is very irritating. Thankfully, I don’t often encounter this bus driver, but each time I do, he pulls the bus up too far.

So far I’ve talked with the bus driver directly, I’ve called the Port Authority complaint line, and I’ve called Brian Dudas, the Port Authority supervisor of complaints, but nothing has changed.

If you have any suggestions on what else to do to try to resolve this problem, I would greatly appreciate it.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

take the guy donuts?


ajbooth
Participant
#

I’m not sure if he can help, but the City of Pittsburgh’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator is Stephen Patchan. My experiences with him have been positive, and he seems willing to help if he can.

Stephen.Patchan@city.pittsburgh.pa.us


ajbooth
Participant
#

+1 on the donuts.


rsprake
Participant
#

Do you “flag” down the bus as it’s approaching so he knows you have a bike?


scott
Keymaster
#

If you can get the 4 digit bus number and route he drove on a certain day, they can track down the operator. If you can get me that info I can run this up the ladder and hopefully get you some results.


scott
Keymaster
#

I might add, the same thing happened to me until the new “we like bikes” campaign hit. I told my contacts that a number of operators weren’t stopping prior to the rail and they took note. Since then I personally haven’t had a single issue, but that sucks that you are. Hope I can help out, I know how frustrating this is having experienced it myself.


bhattenb
Participant
#

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I got a good laugh at dmtroyer’s Mia Birk approach.

Scott, this driver is on the P2 route. This morning his bus number was 3107. Thanks, again.


mac
Participant
#

Like Scott I have also noticed in the past 3 months that almost 100% of the time my P1 and P3 drivers leave plenty of space for me to put my bike on the rack. Last year it was not nearly as consistent, even sometimes when I waved to the driver while holding my bike. Sounds like you have been dealing with a not-so-compliant driver.

I do make a point of leaning my bike ON the rail so it is really obvious to the driver as he/she pulls up.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

95% of the drivers I deal with are quite compliant. They see me with a bike, they actually stop a tad short (this is usually on a street, not the busway), so that I have to step forward a bit to get to the bus.

One driver I routinely run into downtown likes to roll just enough past me that the front door is to my right, causing me then to have to negotiate the bike through the line that immediately forms by that door.


joeframbach
Participant
#

One driver I routinely run into downtown likes to roll just enough past me that the front door is to my right, causing me then to have to negotiate the bike through the line that immediately forms by that door.

Every. Single. Time.


Willie
Participant
#

I often wonder if the drivers that have a chip on their shoulders do things like stu mentioned purposely. My guess is YES. I am sure they also sit around after work and tell each other stories of how they messed with someone that day.


Pseudacris
Participant
#

I usually expect the worst due my lane-sharing experiences with buses. But, I’ve been surprised by having most drivers be very accommodating & even seem to like “kneeling” the bus while I use the rack.


bhattenb
Participant
#

This driver definitely sees me with my bike and he’s definitely non-compliant. When I talked to him he said that he was trained to pull all the way up to the railing. Then when I asked him how I am supposed to put my bike on the bike rack, he said that I am supposed to walk around the back of the bus, up the left side (in the middle of the busway!) and around the front. How do you argue with that?


Willie
Participant
#

I picture him punching the gas as you round the back of the bus, leaving you standing there in a cloud of exhaust.

Joking aside that’s just stupid to have someone go into traffic. Seems he us just being a dick because he has a stick up his ass about sharing the road with cyclists.


rsprake
Participant
#

Then when I asked him how I am supposed to put my bike on the bike rack, he said that I am supposed to walk around the back of the bus, up the left side (in the middle of the busway!) and around the front. How do you argue with that?

Complete horse shit.


Marko82
Participant
#

Just a suggestion- take out your phone and take a very obvious picture of the bus/railing situation & then take a picture of the driver. Then you can either continue your conversation with the driver, or forward the pictures on to the complaint person mentioned above. Sometimes having proof-in-hand will change the tone of the dialog.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Scott, you have your info. It’s up to the training department to retrain these few cement-head drivers, which we apparently have to identify individually. OK, they have specific training to pull up to a certain spot? OK, fine, but they also need to be trained to look for a bicycle, and if present, NOT to pull up to that spot but about five feet short of that so the cyclist can use the rack.

Cyclists, try to stand at the most downstream part of the bus stop, obviously not so far downstream that you aren’t part of the queue of people waiting to board. I’ve begun making a habit of picking up the bike and waggling it a little bit, to make sure the driver knows my intention to board. (The idiot I run into ignores all this as a matter of course.)


Pseudacris
Participant
#

@bhattenb I agree with the others here that this lame driver’s wrong instruction puts you & your bike at risk.


jeg
Participant
#

This isn’t directly related, but there’s a driver I encounter occasionally who lets people put bikes on the bus with no problems, but then makes rude comments and gets the other passengers riled up about the supposed delay the cyclist is causing. Especially if we’re going down Greenfield Avenue, things like “I don’t understand why people can’t RIDE their bikes down the hills! Seriously?!”


boostuv
Participant
#

Nick and I had an *absolutely wonderful* encounter with an off-duty PAT driver on Tuesday night in East Liberty. And by absolutely wonderful I mean absolutely terrifying.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Off-duty meaning behind the wheel of a bus, or in uniform not on a bus, or you just happened to know he was a driver?


scott
Keymaster
#

Hi everyone,

I’ve reached out to my contacts about this and they’re going to handle it. Thanks for reporting the issue and hopefully things improve soon.


boostuv
Participant
#

She wasnt driving a bus, just being reckless like one. We were riding home from Urban Active up Penn Ave towards Shady Ave, we cut the light pretty close and in all reality we probably ran a red light. Nick was on the right and I was on the left, and as he goes to move to the right lane a PAT bus driver in their personal vehicle comes flying up behind us, clearly running the red light, and tries to drive in between the two of us. We were maybe 3 feet from each other and she tried to wedge her car in between. If anyone rides that stretch they know there are some huge potholes, one of which the driver forced Nick into which he hit so hard it knocked the bead of the tire off the rim. She proceeded to sit right on our asses as we made our way to the curb.


scott
Keymaster
#

@bhattenb: let us know how things go this week.


bhattenb
Participant
#

@scott: I didn’t encounter the problem driver yesterday morning, but I did this morning. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. I didn’t get his coach number, but again it was about 7:10am at Negley on the inbound P2.


bhattenb
Participant
#

Progress, sort of. I got the same problem bus driver this morning, and to my delight, he actually left me enough room between the front of the bus and the railing to get to the bike rack. Then, wouldn’t you know it, a woman got off the bus and instead of walking back to the crosswalk, she walked in front of the bus and crossed the busway. As I boarded the bus, I was going to thank the driver for leaving me room, but he started to bitch at me and didn’t stop until we were halfway downtown. He ranted about how the woman crossing in front of the bus was my fault and if she got hit in the busway it would be his fault because he didn’t pull all the way up to the railing (but it’s somehow better for me to walk around the back of the bus and up the left side of the bus in the middle of the busway to get to the bikerack), about how I only think about myself, about how many times I called to complain about him, and about how I run red lights and cutoff pedestrians downtown (which isn’t true, but why let that get in the way of a good rant). I eventually thanked him for leaving enough room to use the bike rack, but that didn’t seem to matter. Hopefully, this crap is finally over with.


scott
Keymaster
#

Sorry you have to deal with this crap. You’re a paying customer, you deserve to be treated with respect.


rsprake
Participant
#

Jeez. That’s seriously terrible.


edmonds59
Participant
#

“…about how many times I called to complain about him,…”

At least, verification that it’s getting through! :)


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
#

Taking the emotion out of it (easy for me to say, as I wasn’t there, so forgive me), but it sounds like a natural consequence of the front-rack system.

Although the driver should not have bitched about it all the way into town, the point remains: if there is a gap at the front, people will take it and potentially cross dangerously. Conversely, without leaving the gap, the cyclist wanting to use the rack has to dangerously circumnavigate the bus as well. It is a lose-lose.

Sounds to me like there must be a rational solution or tweak that PAT could make to prevent passengers from crossing in front, while at the same time providing easy and safe access to folks using the rack.

Unfortunately I don’t have a good solution to offer, but there are lots of smart people here who think about these things. I’m sure the group could come up with something that made sense and maybe Scott and the gang could propose it to PAT to help fix the problem.


bhattenb
Participant
#

At West Busway stations, there are Jersey barriers down the middle of the busway, with the exception of a gap at the crosswalk. There aren’t any at the Negley station, but I don’t know about the rest of the East Busway.


rsprake
Participant
#

There is no problem if you ask me. If someone is stupid enough to cross in front of a bus they will find a way to do it again.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

crossing the busway is taking your life into your own hands, anyhow, with all the trigger finger truck drivers ripping through at 35 mph with their four ways on


edmonds59
Participant
#

“At West Busway stations, there are Jersey barriers down the middle of the busway, with the exception of a gap at the crosswalk.” I can confirm that, and it does seem to work to cut down on the random pedestrian dumbshittery.


rsprake
Participant
#

There are jersey barriers at Hamnet station as well.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

I do not see a problem with front racks. I virtually never have a problem with a driver.

As to crossing a busway, it really is up to pedestrians to take care of themselves and not be a PITA to either stopped or rolling buses. No vehicle should be doing more than 25 in a busway station. This has long been a problem, and up to PAT to enforce. They could do well to install some speed monitors and recorders. *cue Stu’s usual rant about PAT needing to get with the times on transit technology making service better*

West Busway, Sheraden Station, pedestrians coming down the sidewalk to get to the inbound platform cross the busway at a long diagonal to get to that crossing, and have since Day 1 (Sept 10 2000).


Mick
Participant
#

Sounds like the driver hates his job and has a skill set that would only allow him to change to jobs that pay a fraction of what he gets paid at PAT.

@bhattenb – As you got off the bus, I hope you said “Thank you! Have a great day!!!”


chefjohn
Participant
#

the skill set needed to be a bus driver includes the ability to be courteous to customers and apparantly this driver does not posess that ability.

I know that this is going to stoke some serious flames here, but…this is the problem with unions in industries in which they do not belong. this driver is able to retain his position, even after numerous complaints about his on the job behavior because he is backed by a strong union. the same union that is now crippling pat’s ability to become solvent and adequately serve it’s customers. i realize the driver’s union is not pat’s only problem but they are a huge part of it. if these driver’s were paid on merit and properly disciplined for their transgressions our entire public transportation system would benefit from it.

sorry for the threadjack, just saying…


buffalo buffalo
Participant
#

It used to not be necessary to cross the busway at Negley Station, because there was a stairway up to the street from the inbound platform. They closed that years ago rather than rebuild it, so now one *has* to cross.

← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Supported by