Sep 6, 2007

Step Back System

DRT has come up with a strange way of ending Operator's (Drivers) shifts or giving them a break on the 915 Taunton route. As an example, the bus leaves Pickering Go Station and travels approximately 10 minutes of the 50 minutes of the total trip to the Ajax Go Station where the driver goes on break. This is accomplished by having all the passengers disembark from the bus and wait for the relief driver and the relief bus. When the system is backed up due to weather or traffic problems, the passengers have to leave the comfort of the bus and wait on the platform in all kinds of weather for whatever time it takes for the next bus to arrive.

The most logical thing to do would be for another Operator to come up from the Ajax garage and relieve the driver without disrupting the passengers. This way the passengers remain on the bus in comfort and it continues in service. That is what happens with the Flag bus. In transit, it is known as the Step Back System.
One would think that the Route Planners went to sleep on this one.

In this instance they not speak up loud enough for the customers. It seems that the service department doesn't know how to keep track of their buses when more than one Operator drives a single bus. That is a hard one for me to understand. There are number former experienced TTC employees in management positions at DRT who are familiar with the Step Back System. Surely, they could have spoken up and explained how to use this to the customers' advantage.

Up until now the policy (in Ajax - Pickering) has been for an Operator to finish the run at the end of the route. That way passengers will be inconvenienced as little as possible. Otherwise they should leave the passengers on the bus and have a driver waiting to take over so that they are not disrupted and the bus continues on route.


Brian said...

I am sure passengers are not too happy about that.I saw this happen last night around 8:45 PM, the driver parked the bus in the GO parking lot (with the other buses that were on break). During the day though I see the drivers use the Step Back System, the driver usually stands outside the bus to wait for the relief driver. Oshawa uses the Step Back System on most of it's shifts.

Anonymous said...

Oshawa uses the system where the relief driver either brings a bus out or takes the bus to the relief point and takes over the bus in service. The driver that is finished his shift then takes his car or relief drivers bus back to the point where his car is. The passengers are rarely if ever asked to board another bus.