Posts Tagged: Drivers



Attendants Not Operators

It’s cheap and easy politics to blame the “lazy” unions; that drivers should be doing more than they already are. Frankly speaking, I don’t want my transit drivers doing more. I want them doing less. If my life is in their hands, I don’t want them dealing with transfers, tickets or irate customers. I want my drivers driving.

There’s a reason airline pilots don’t work the check-in desk.

But transit can rarely afford to do that. You can’t afford a driver and a ticket-taker in every vehicle. So if you’re a bus, streetcar or LRT driver, you have to be a fare-collector as well.

Alternatively, you could implement an honor system which sometimes will work and sometimes won’t. I doubt there are any studies on that one, but I’m guessing that would be the result.

So why not just do away with drivers entirely?

If your transit vehicle operates in its own right of way, automation is rather straight forward. Even more so with cable. That doesn’t mean you eliminate jobs, you just shift the Operators to Station Attendants. Operators take care of the road. Attendants take care of you.

A computer cannot attend to you very well. A computer can, however, drive a transit system.

Use computers to do what they do very well and use humans to do what they do very well. Then everybody’s happy.

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