Jul 1, 2007

Breach of blind man's rights spurs $8M transit PA system

After a finding that OC Transpo drivers not calling out bus stops breached a blind man's human rights, transit officials are instructing drivers to do so and are seeking $8 million to install automated announcement systems.

"The technology required to automatically announce stops will be phased in over three years, beginning in 2008," says report from city transit staff on the issue. "In the interim, we will maintain vigilance in fostering good customer service by announcing major stops when possible."

Breach of blind man's rights spurs $8M transit PA system.

I know with my own personal experience the difficulty of calling bus stops. If you are traveling at a time when it is difficult to see out of the windows, getting the driver to let you know when your stop is coming up can be very important. Of course, that means the driver has to remember which stops have been asked for.

It can somethings be a distraction for a bus driver. Not only must a driver be able to drive but they must be ready perform a number of other duties. This is especially true in big cities.

Sometimes when I am sitting in a left turn lane it may take three or four lights to compete the turn. Someone would ring the bell when I enter the turn lane and I have forgotten by time I get around the corner. This is especially true in the New Flyers. When the bell cord has been pulled a large sign lights up. Also a smaller one on the dash indicates a stop request. The manufacturer of the bus has placed the stop request light behind the driver. The one on the dash can be difficult to see in daylight. It makes more sense that when purchasing buses, transit companies should insist that the transit driver be given the right tools to do their job.

That’s enough excuses from me. One good thing about these cases is that the results will benefit every transit user.

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