Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby srock68 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:08 pm

Wow...that would hurt a lot of Conductors. I probably should start updating my resume.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby jfs » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:49 pm

srock68 wrote:Wow...that would hurt a lot of Conductors. I probably should start updating my resume.




Yea, add "I will believe anything".
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby eon2won1 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:17 pm

srock68 wrote:Wow...that would hurt a lot of Conductors. I probably should start updating my resume.


Dude, you're freaking out. This is a forum loaded with speculation.
As a matter of fact most predictions posted here don't seem to pan out.
Last year speculation was rampant here that 100 trainmen would be furloughed and the roster
was going to be 800 in three years or so. Fifteen bottom trainmen are currently cams (permanent status) with first dibs
on any future conductor hiring.
There was also speculation that engineers would be wearing uniforms as a result of an unfortunate situation that appeared
in Newsday. Never happened.
All of the assistant conductors are beginning their respective qualification process. The rr isn't doing this out of the goodness
of their heart. New fra hours of service regulations will place further demands on manpower.
Look, one hundred years ago it was a guy wearing a uniform just like you and I using the same punch and doing
the same thing. Technology has passed by our craft for numerous reasons posted under other topics on this forum.
It will not stay this way forever. There will come a time when newer technology will have it's place on the rr.
However it doesn't seem to be around the corner. Look at the disaster last night to see the value your craft has to this
operation. Would love to see how they would have handled it with one unqualified per train. Would be a total joke.
The conditions are rarely perfect, as a consequence they need us. The rr is also under pressure for missing fares
due to the cutbacks they made.
The other thing to remember is that this place changes like an ocean liner turning at sea. Very slowly.
Competence is also a consideration. Look at the Chairmen's first big initiative, BSC for a lesson in poor
planning and incompetence.
Relax.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby srock68 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:28 pm

eon2won1,

Thanks for talking me off the ledge.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:09 am

Eon is on target. There is much planned and many plans pass us by, never seeing the light of day.

But it's wise to know of these plans and to hedge your investments. The MTA is looking at 430 collector-types manning the trains. No more qualified conductors. Just "door-operators," or "attendants," or "conductors" -- whatever you want to call them. That would take many changes to accomplish, and changes on the LIRR are hard to make. But the MTA holds the cars and it could all change in a year, if the agency wanted that to happen.

I wouldn't loose sleep if I were Roster Number 700. but I certainly wouldn't let an opportunity pass that would improve my security.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby wilsonpooch » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:50 pm

Gotta agree with tool, for various reasons.
If I was a young Conductor with my carrer ahead of me, and I could become an Engineer or supervisor. I would.
As I have stated before, I was offered a management job in 1988.
By that time I had almost 16 years on the RR and was starting to make decent money, so I turned them down.
On another occasion I submitted an application when they were looking for Engineers.
I was accepted.
By that time I had been qualified for 10 years, and again was making good money.
I was just sick of years of dealing with the public.
A Good friend of mine, an Engineer ( The Late Rudy Nichols) took me over to the Engineers Roster and told me to show him the youngest Engineer on their roster, that I knew personally, and what jobs he was working.
The person i knew was stuck on Early AM's out of brooklyn and had been for a couple of years. Rudy reminded me of my seniority, and if i switched I would have less time on the engineers roster then that guy.
Another Engineer, Gary S, Reminded me of the same thing.
I decided to stay as a Conductor due to their advice.
So it all depends on the times and the situations.
Dont lose any sleep, you will have a job.
Changes take time, but if you can switch, might not be a bad idea.
Personally I think they will keep the Conductor qualified if they sit down and think about the way the place operates.
Could be wrong, but its my 2 cents.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Peanuts » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:36 pm

Hurry up... the bulletin for transportation manager is out.... get involved while its hot!!
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:36 pm

Transportation Manager's not too bad a deal, especially if you have the temperament to walk the line between labor and management. The pay is about 35% higher than a flat week conductor's rate, and you enjoy better pension benefits.

With overtime drying up, a Transportation Manager's position works out well if you can handle the nonsense that comes with the job. Some can, and others can't. It also helps if you like trains -- you have an opportunity to get involved with some cool things, and after you prove yourself (which can take a decade) you become your own boss and pretty much do whatever you want.

But like any railroad job, seniority means everything, and you'll have to put up with LOTS of abuse until you grow some whiskers and prove you're worthy of respect and trust.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Head-end View » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:43 pm

Tool, what would be LIRR's motivation to have "unqualified" door-operators on the trains instead of "qualified" conductors. Is it that the "unqualified's" earn a lower rate of pay, so they'd save big money? Among other things, doesn't the occasional reverse-move require a "qualified" member on the other end? Would they be willing to take the delays in having the engineer change ends, every time this has to be done?
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby ADL6009 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:37 pm

how do you back up a train with just an engineer and one "door-operator" ?
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby ADL6009 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:40 pm

actually, instead of paying for a conductor they would probably just assign 2 engineers per train. in the end it would save zero money as opposed to having an Engineer/Conductor duo but the MTA could say "look we eliminated the conductor, that saves money", never mentioning that they now have twice as many engineers.
its not that far fetched, they already assign 2 engineers for every Oyster Bay job to prevent the occasional co-mingle.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:27 am

Head, of course the rationale here is saving money, and an unqualified man can be paid much less than a qualified one.

And of course it's easier to back up a train with a qualified guy on the rear.

This is no exercise in what is best, but one in what is cheapest. The people who make budgets aren't the people who run the trains. Sure, five minutes for an engineer to change ends can make or break a dozen delays. But cost/benefits are always skewed by those who make the changes.

Certainly this is the same arguments that came up when the second brakeman was removed from jobs, when the firemen were abolished, when the agents and clerks were eliminated and when the substations went unmanned.

"We'll never run without them," they said.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby Head-end View » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:24 pm

Hmmm............. If enough delays are caused by the ripple effect of time consuming reverse-moves, it will affect LIRR's on-time performance figures. If it gets bad enough, and the commuter groups and the media make an issue of the railroad's decreasing on-time performance, that might get management's attention.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby jfs » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:09 am

Head-end View wrote:Hmmm............. If enough delays are caused by the ripple effect of time consuming reverse-moves, it will affect LIRR's on-time performance figures. If it gets bad enough, and the commuter groups and the media make an issue of the railroad's decreasing on-time performance, that might get management's attention.



Using (good) reason and logic is pretty much wishful thinking. Just look at the response to uncollected fares due to the reduction of collectors, a very simple "cause and effect" scenario, right? Nope. The problem was clearly not enough managers it seems, according to the railroads response to the stats.

Unfortunately, trainmen that effectively keep trains moving are completely unnoticed. There is no record kept of all the things that potentially could have caused delays that trainmen deals with, so there is no reason to keep them around.
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Re: Smart Technology to Collect Fares

Postby LongIslandTool » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:23 am

It's ironic that the first paragraph of the MTA study cites "greatly increased inefficiency in the collection of fares by on-board personnel" as a factor in the need to reduce crew sizes and institute gating.
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