I donít know about the rest of you, but when I get essentially reamed out by someone whoís boss reamed them out because their coworkers, and not in fact them, are not doing their job, it makes me a might unpleasant. Read pissy and irritable.
When I first moved here I raised some concerns about the bus drivers not following the rules set forth in the Americanís with Disabilities Act. In particular they did not announce bus stops on the fixed route busses. This is actually mandated by the federal government and it really helps those of us who cannot see to know where we are. As I explained to one of the drivers today it puts the responsibility of knowing where to get off in my hands and minimizes the change they will forget to drop you off if you ask when you first get on the bus.
As a result of myself, Tigress, and others with disabilities raising these concerns with Rose View Transitís management and others in the City government, a Riders Advisory Council was formed. We donít have any official purpose, but we meet every couple of moths to give rider input into how things are working with the system. We are not there to make trouble for drivers. Weíre not out to make enemies, but we are seeking to make the transit system as useable and friendly as possible for all riders, not just those with disabilities.
This brings us to Tuesday. Myself and another woman met with the Transit Operations Manager and another City employee. It was our regular meeting, but not everyone could make it. I guess that will be an important fact later. We asked a couple of questions about what the plans were to adjust the routes to compensate for impending road construction and the new shopping center. We also brought up a couple concerns regarding wheelchair securement, and again, announcing stops. I think the ops manager was annoyed with the drivers because she exasperatedly said theyíd just been through training and they all should know better.
Number one, the wheelchair securement issue is just a matter of safety. I donít care how you justify it, placing one strap on a wheelchair will do nothing but spin the chair. Also, it is *illegal* to face a wheelchair passenger sideways in a paratransit vehicle. That, as far as I am concerned, is also a safety issue. The seatbelts are not designed to restrain a passenger who is seated sideways and if the vehicle comes to a hard stop and a passenger, who would normally be pulled forward and stopped by the belt, runs the risk of falling out of their chair. I really wasnít trying to be a pain in the butt however, I do think they should be following the regulations the DOT has set out. You are allowed to face a wheelchair passenger forward or rearward. If facing the passenger rearward, there must be a padded barrier at a certain height.
We also mentioned several drivers by name who are dong things the way they should and who are extremely friendly and helpful. She indicated she would let them know we appreciated their efforts.
Today, I get on the bus to head home from the store and practically the first thing the driver says to me is, ďI hear we got Barbecued pretty well at your meeting the other day.Ē It took me a moment to realize what he was talking about and I told him we didnít barbecue anyone, we merely pointed out some areas we felt could be improved for better customer service. I told him he, in fact, was one of the drivers who we mentioned was doing his job and being quite helpful. It didnít seem to appease him at all. He continued to inform me the boss had gone off on the drivers and made them sign some sort of paper saying they would announce stops and things of that nature. He did admit that he had gotten out of the habit of announcing sops, but he said he tried to remember where people wanted off. This is when I explained why it is helpful to have stops announced and while he usually remembered where to let people off, some of his associates are not as well endowed in the short-term memory department.
After getting off his bus and boarding the other one I had to take I noticed that this driver, as his usual, did not announce stops and almost forgot to stop where I asked him to, despite me asking him only 2 minutes before I was to get off.
This whole situation has me pretty irritated. The people who are doing a good job and donít need to be yelled at are getting angry with me for trying to get their colleagues to do their jobs and the people who need to hear it donít seem to care.
I think this is an example of why this type of community gets on my nerves. While it is nice that people know me, know my name, and are friendly, it is also to easy for them to know what I am involved in and this makes it much easier for them to get angry with me.
Iím just frustrated and cranky, so Iíll leave now before my bad mood offends everyone around me. (