Category Archives: Safety and Security

Transit Agency Service Status Post-Hurricane Irma

Updated on 9/18/17 at 6:15AM – THIS IS THE LAST UPDATE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!!!

Please check the Florida Public Transportation Association website to find your area’s respective transit agency website.

Please be advised that due to the severe damage in the Florida Keys, Key West Transit will not be operating for the foreseeable future.


Service Status as of 9/18/17

Any transit agency that has not yet resumed full normal service is listed below.

  • Citrus Connection Polk County: Limited service will operate. View listing of operating routes.
  • Palm Tran: All services have been restored to normal operation, except Route 94, which will resume on a later announced date.
  • Miami-Dade Transit: All services have been restored to normal operation, except the following:
  • SunRail: Limited Trips – Please check the SunRail website.

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The Back To School 2017 Post

It’s time for students to return to school – and the school buses to hit the roads once again.

Well folks! It’s that time again! Time for many people to head back to school! And whether you’re a college student attending one of the local colleges or universities, or a parent trying to get some last minute school supply shopping done for your children, it is always important to know that with the school year starting back up, you can expect increased traffic on the roads. And yes, that includes those big yellow school buses!

In this Back to School Edition blog post, I will be highlighting the importance of school bus safety, because often times, we see accidents that involve a school bus. All 50 states the US have laws that revolve around school buses, specifically laws that make it illegal to pass a school bus when it is stopped (and its lights are flashing and signs are extended out). Sadly, there are too many incidents by which vehicles pass a stopped school bus as it is loading or unloading passengers, and some of those incidents have involved fatalities or serious injury.

In the past, I’ve been able to provide a link to Shawn’s “School Bus Driver” website, which had a page dedicated to this matter in particular. However, he has closed the website as of a few months ago. In place of that link, I am going to share a diagram that has been seen on various sites across the web. The diagram clearly shows when vehicles must stop for a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading students.

passingbuses

With that said, I wish everyone that is headed back to the classroom a safe and wonderful school year!

The Back To School 2016 Post

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It’s time for students to return to school – and the school buses to hit the roads once again.

Well folks! It’s that time again! Time for many people to head back to school! And whether you’re a college student attending one of the local colleges or universities, or a parent trying to get some last minute school supply shopping done for your children, it is always important to know that with the school year starting back up, you can expect increased traffic on the roads. And yes, that includes those big yellow school buses!

In this Back to School Edition blog post, I will be highlighting the importance of school bus safety, because often times, we see accidents that involve a school bus. All 50 states the US have laws that revolve around school buses, specifically laws that make it illegal to pass a school bus when it is stopped (and its lights are flashing and signs are extended out). Sadly, there are too many incidents by which vehicles pass a stopped school bus as it is loading or unloading passengers, and some of those incidents have involved fatalities or serious injury.

In the past, I’ve been able to provide a link to Shawn’s “School Bus Driver” website, which had a page dedicated to this matter in particular. However, he has closed the website as of a few months ago. In place of that link, I am going to share a diagram that has been seen on various sites across the web. The diagram clearly shows when vehicles must stop for a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading students.

passingbuses

With that said, I wish everyone that is headed back to the classroom a safe and wonderful school year!

If you see something, say something! (Repost)

In the wake of the horrible incident in Brussels, I wanted to re-post a piece from April 16, 2013 that discusses what to look out for while using transit. No, this is not a scavenger hunt, but rather a reminder to to keep a sharp eye out for anything suspicious. You may have seen or heard about security awareness campaigns put out by your area transit district since the 9/11 incidents in 2001. In Tampa and New York City – among other transit districts, there have been posters and placards that read, If you see something, say something.

Below are some key things (noted by the NYC MTA) to look out for:

  • Be alert to unattended packages – Especially packages that may be left in an awkward or “out of the way” place, like underneath a bench.
  • Be wary of suspicious behavior – This can sometimes be difficult to notice, but if you notice that something just isn’t right about someone, don’t wait until it’s too late.
    • I especially want to point out any instances where you may see a group of people going about in an orchestrated manner. These circumstances often signal that a possible terrorist attack is about to take place.
  • Take notice of people in bulky or inappropriate clothing – For instance; it just doesn’t seem right to see someone clustered within a group of people, wearing a heavy jacket in the middle of a hot summer day.
  • Report exposed wiring or other irregularities – For instance, a security alarm panel that has numerous wires (especially cut wires) sticking out may be a sign that the device may have been tampered with.
  • Report anyone tampering with surveillance cameras or entering unauthorized areas – I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. If someone is not authorized to enter a restricted area, but deliberately tries to get into a restricted area without permission, that person may be up to something.
  • Know what to do in an event of an evacuation – It is vital to know how to evacuate a bus or train in the event that an evacuation is ordered. Your area transit district should have specific guidelines in place that facilitate an orderly evacuation from the transit system.

If you see anything of the above, or any other suspicious happenings, don’t just sit and wait! Alert a local law enforcement official or transit employee immediately! In some major cities, like New York City, special telephone numbers have been set up so that you can immediately report such activity. In New York City, the number is 888-NYC-SAFE (888-692-7233).

The day before the incidents in Brussels, the NYC MTA unveiled a new safety campaign called “New Yorkers Keep New York Safe”. Learn more about the campaign on the MTA’s website.


Please be sure to bookmark my website: hartride2012tampa.wordpress.com | Contact Me.

You can also find me on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | YouTube

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The Travel Log by HARTride 2012 Facebook Group is now open!

The Golden Gate Bridge Is Getting Its First Suicide Nets

After many years of debate, suicide prevention nets are coming to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

TIME

California officials approved $76 million in funding Friday to install an elaborate system of nets to prevent people from jumping off the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, taking action after more than 1,400 deaths in 80 years.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which oversees the bridge, will provide $20 million in funding for the project, with the rest coming from state and federal coffers. A small amount of the funding still has yet to be approved, however.

Denis Mulligan, the bridge’s general manager, said he expects the net to be “completely effective” in preventing suicides.

“They think they can’t jump, so they don’t,” Mulligan said.

The bridge’s suicide-prevention system has been a long time coming. Golden Gate officials have instituted a number of measures to mitigate suicide attempts, including a telephone hotline, throughout the structure’s long history. Bridge employees, including painters, ironworkers and patrol officers, are responsible…

View original post 111 more words

Transit Safety and Security is Serious Business

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) is making sure that its system is safe for everyone! I will have a blog post up on this topic soon. In the meantime however, please have a look at their post.

Ride PSTA

Did you know that PSTA has a special division within its Transportation Department that’s dedicated to safety and security? Well, we do, and they’re a busy bunch of people! PSTA was recently notified that we scored 99% on a base assessment of our safety and security programs and procedures by the Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transportation Security Administration, which would make us eligible for their Gold Standard for the second time! Only those agencies with the best ratings receive the Gold Standard Award.

PSTA is a very safe transit system, with several state-of-the-art tools in place to help us keep it that way. We know where every bus is at any given time thanks to GPS technology on board every vehicle. Our Operators are trained how to respond and communicate with first responders in the event of an emergency on board, or if they witness a crime…

View original post 544 more words

Another train incident on the CTA Blue Line

Back in October of 2013, two Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line trains collided after an out of service train struck the end of another train that was stopped to load/unload passengers.

This morning, an inbound Blue Line train entering the O’Hare Airport station (which serves as the southern terminus for the Blue Line) overshot the bumper blocks at the end of the track, causing the front-most train to travel up the escalator that leads from the mezzanine level onto the platform level. The incident resulted in 32 injuries, and the cause is still under investigation.

Like the October, 2013 incident, safety protocols that would have stopped the train from overshooting the tracks did not seem to engage. Investigators will be figuring out why this was the case.

At this time, the Blue Line is CLOSED between O’Hare and Rosemont stations. Please visit the CTA website for updates.

Don’t “race” the train!

For the month of July, I would like to stress to everyone to never, never, never try to beat a surface train at a crossing. This includes light rail, streetcar, commuter/suburban/intercity rail, and even freight train crossings. This post covers all types of rail transport by which an at-grade crossing with a roadway is involved.

Over the past several years, I’ve heard of many horrific stories about vehicles colliding with trains at crossings. Many times, these incidents occur because the driver of the vehicle was trying to “beat” the train at the crossing and did not make it through the crossing in time. These incidents often result in serious injury, or in many cases fatalities, as well as hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in damages to the train involved. If the train derails as a result of a vehicular collision, those costs can easily soar into the millions. Disregarding train crossing barriers and other such safety protocols when a train is approaching is both dangerous and illegal.

Continue reading Don’t “race” the train!

If you see something, say something!

NOTE: I wrote this post back on April 16, 2013, which was the day after the horrific terrorist attacks that struck the Boston Marathon. I continue to pray for all those who were affected by this tragedy.

#BostonStrong

In the wake of the terrible events in Boston, MA, I would like to take a moment to remind everyone to keep a sharp eye out for anything suspicious, especially when using public transit. You may have seen or heard about security awareness campaigns put out by your area transit district since the 9/11 incidents in 2001. In Tampa and New York City, there have been posters and placards that read, If you see something, say something.

Below are some key things (noted by the NYC MTA) to look out for:

  • Be alert to unattended packages – Especially packages that may be left in an awkward or “out of the way” place, like underneath a bench.
  • Be wary of suspicious behavior – This can sometimes be difficult to notice, but if you notice that something just isn’t right about someone, don’t wait until it’s too late.
    • I especially want to point out any instances where you may see a group of people going about in an orchestrated manner. These circumstances often signal that a possible terrorist attack is about to take place.
  • Take notice of people in bulky or inappropriate clothing – For instance; it just doesn’t seem right to see someone clustered within a group of people, wearing a heavy jacket in the middle of a hot summer day.
  • Report exposed wiring or other irregularities – For instance, a security alarm panel that has numerous wires (especially cut wires) sticking out may be a sign that the device may have been tampered with.
  • Report anyone tampering with surveillance cameras or entering unauthorized areas – I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. If someone is not authorized to enter a restricted area, but deliberately tries to get into a restricted area without permission, that person may be up to something.
  • Know what to do in an event of an evacuation – It is vital to know how to evacuate a bus or train in the event that an evacuation is ordered. Your area transit district should have specific guidelines in place that facilitate an orderly evacuation from the transit system.

If you see anything of the above, or any other suspicious happenings, don’t just sit and wait! Alert a local law enforcement official or transit employee immediately! In some major cities, like New York City, special telephone numbers have been set up so that you can immediately report such activity. In New York City, the number is 888-NYC-SAFE (888-692-7233).

HART makes strides to create a better commute

If you haven’t rode in a HART bus lately, then you’ll notice some significant changes.

  • First off, you’ll notice that all the busses are equipped with audio and video surveillence. In this way, your overall safety on the bus has been increased (and those misbehaving people won’t be able to get away with their crimes on board a bus anymore). PSTA and other transit agencies have had surveillence systems on their busses for quite some time now and HART quickly followed suit.
  • Secondly, all busses will be equipped over the next year with GPS systems. You may have read articles in the newspaper regarding the addition of GPS to HART busses. But you may have wondered “when is it going to happen?”. All the busses I rode on today were equipped with the GPS interfaces, but the system won’t be fully functional until the end of the year, one bus driver told me. Eventually, the addition of the GPS system onboard all busses will lead to display signs at transfer centers and other bus stops, indicating the next departure and whether or not the bus is on time.
  • Third, you will notice that in the center of the photo, the illuminated sign that lights up when a patron requests a stop has been replaced by the “Next Stop” scrolling display by Luminator These signs currently only display the current time and date, and flash “STOP REQUESTED” when a patron requests a stop. However, once the GPS and other integrated systems are fully functional, these signs will display major intersections, landmarks, and transfer centers.
  • Finally, as part of this system upgrade, you will notice that the “Integrated Voice System” by Luminator is partly functional. When a patron requests a stop and the “Next Stop” display has flashed “STOP REQUESTED”, an automated voice will say “STOP REQUESTED” in both English and Spanish. Once the voice systems are in place and fully functional, the system will announce major intersections, landmarks, and transfer centers…allowing the bus drivers to better focus on the road when driving.