I was reading a post from fellow transit nerd and fellow WordPress Blogger, Zachary Ziegler, about his former hometown agency at BFT (Ben Franklin Transit) testing out an Electric Transit Bus, not a hybrid but a 100% electric bus! You can check it out here, BFT Electric Bus Demonstration. His post made me think of all of the other “green” initiatives in mass transit currently. Obviously the most popular option is electrified rail, but its also the most costly and if its not implemented properly it could become a huge disaster. I remember a common theme from a book I read not long ago called Straphanger (definitely worth reading if you have even the smallest interest in transit). The one thing that Taras Grescoe continued to repeat throughout the book is that agencies should invest in the option that is the absolute best for their service area and is also the most feasible financially. The reason I say this is that being Green can cost a lot of the other kind of green, which is something that a lot of agencies are lacking thanks to the ineptitude of our elected “officials”. For this reason an electric bus may be a viable option for cities that can’t even dream about affording rail. They can be a green agency without having to sink a ton of money into an option that just doesn’t make sense. The nice thing is that just about any bus out there can be outfitted with the electric engines. Just imagine cities being cleaner and healthier simply because the big hulking buses aren’t spewing nasty carbon filled toxins anymore.
I know that most of the posts I make about HART are usually in a good light. But I have to say that this post is not a good one. One July 19, 2012 a HART bus operator, a fellow operator was attacked. You would think that with an Authority like HART they would have acted swiftly and decidedly to protect Colin Brown, but they did almost the exact opposite. The response time to aide him in his time of need was abysmal and the follow up by HART was equally dis-heartening. This attack could have gone down a much different road too. Fortunately Mr. Brown is alive, and at home resting and recuperating. HART may not have been able to foresee this happening, but they most certainly should have handled it better and with more care and professionalism. I’ll let you watch the story below and let you form your own opinions. My opinion is that I do not feel safe and protected where I work anymore. The same can be said for most of my fellow operators. As a passenger, wouldn’t you like to know that when you board a bus that your safety and security is the companies first priority? I know I would.
- HART union seeks attack investigation (tbo.com)
Recently I had the good fortune of finally being able to go and check out what our cohorts at PSTA (Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority) are up to in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Largo. Since I became an operator (not driver Zach!) I’ve wanted to do this, but I never really had anyone who was interested in transit as I am to join me. In these last few months a friend of mine, Zachary Ziegler came to visit me in Tampa. So I decided that we should both make this journey, and we finally did. Continue reading