Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops) Rapid Transit

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831


Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CRail » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:09 pm

obienick wrote:Length is not the issue! The Red Line trains are only a handful of feet longer than the Orange Line. Successful OPTO is done with longer trains of numerous transit agencies. (e.g. Washington = 8 cars)
In Boston, length is the issue. The blue line was allowed to go to OPTO because they never ran more than 4 cars per train. The blue line now has more inspectors than the much longer and more complex red line because of this (real cost savings huh?). The new blue line cars have Demand Doors which is how the T got out of adding a guard to those trains (they don't use the demand door feature [ex. Bowdoin], but apparently HAVING it is good enough). How the T is getting away with this on the orange line is beyond me, and the union's response is downright pathetic...
We’re uncertain whether or not it’s something that can be done effectively, efficiently, and safely for the workforce and for the passengers
Well if you're not certain about how it can effect the operation, than perhaps you should stop representing the people who RUN IT every day! Statements regarding the line's crime, the minimal cost savings that actually result from this measure, the added difficulty on the remaining jobs, the dangers of increasing the responsibility of someone operating a train (they can't possess a cell phone, but having to answer a frantic passenger over the PEI, or handle all radio communications which the guard can take care of currently doesn't create a distraction at all) would all be much better reactions to this policy. The guard's position is easy to justify, as it isn't an unnecessary union protected waste like the T and state officials are trying to make people think. It is essential to the safety and efficiency of the operation, this whole thing is Deval and friends trying to show the public that they're doing something about the budget to help them save money so they can get away with the 6 figured salaries they pay their own behind closed doors.

It's a bad time for all who make up the T; the management, the employees, and the passengers.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2122
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:23 am

Use the money to hire more police officers, not inspectors. Having a door operator on a train only impacts security in the car they are stationed in, while increased police presence can improve safety in all train cars and on the platforms.
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby sery2831 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:24 pm

They are going to need more inspectors as when trains break down they will need them to respond. The Transit Police can't help disabled trains or service issues as their duties are more important doing whatever they do outside the stations. I am interested to see what happens at State St going towards Forest Hills. As it is, closing the rear 2 cars is difficult with people holding the doors. How in the world are they going to close the doors there when you have to close all 6 cars at the same time!!!
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CRail » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:05 pm

RailBus63 wrote:Use the money to hire more police officers, not inspectors.

Downsizing the operations department to increase the Transit Police department does not make sense. Currently the focus is on the trains, 15 more TPD officers isn't going to make much of a difference on the system, but the loss of all guards on a line has a huge impact. This would be like getting rid of your TV to offset the power consumption for a couple extra lights in the hallway.

John makes an excellent point, and one I missed. With the guard in the 4th or 5th car, the doors can first be closed where there is less volume (the first 4 cars at DTX... either direction) and then the focus could be on the cars where people are running and holding doors. Good luck with this when the Motorman is closing the doors 6 cars away from the station's entrance. Service during rush hour will come to a halt, and people are going to get hit by the doors very frequently, all to allegedly save 2% of this years operating budget deficit.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2122
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby jamesinclair » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:26 pm

CRail wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:John makes an excellent point, and one I missed. With the guard in the 4th or 5th car, the doors can first be closed where there is less volume (the first 4 cars at DTX... either direction) and then the focus could be on the cars where people are running and holding doors. Good luck with this when the Motorman is closing the doors 6 cars away from the station's entrance. Service during rush hour will come to a halt, and people are going to get hit by the doors very frequently, all to allegedly save 2% of this years operating budget deficit.


Yup, clearly the rest of the world is wrong and it is necessary for someone to close doors. I blame last summers collision in washington DC on the lack of a second operator. The blue line, as we all know, is in constant chaos with people getting hit by doors, holding doors etc etc. I hear that there were riots in Vancouver because their fully automated train system has NOBODY controlling the doors! Because of the lack of staff, hoodlums were actually tipping over trains!


I wonder if the same argument was used when the position of "elevator attendant" was eliminated?
jamesinclair
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby StevieC48 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:17 am

I can remember when the Blue line was going to go to OPTO and there was all kinds of employees from the line who were trying to fight it. I as a matter of fact helped out with their cause and passed their flyers to the public during evening rush hours. Not sure if there is a simular movement by the employees over on the Orange Line about them going OPTO.
Farewell old friend thanks for the memories.
#4 EBT cars Hawker Siddley 1978-2009

Instructor/Inspector SERY
Member 25 years proud
User avatar
StevieC48
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 pm
Location: Taunton, MA

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby RailBus63 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:15 am

CRail wrote:John makes an excellent point, and one I missed. With the guard in the 4th or 5th car, the doors can first be closed where there is less volume (the first 4 cars at DTX... either direction) and then the focus could be on the cars where people are running and holding doors. Good luck with this when the Motorman is closing the doors 6 cars away from the station's entrance. Service during rush hour will come to a halt, and people are going to get hit by the doors very frequently, all to allegedly save 2% of this years operating budget deficit.


Sorry, but I think you’re overreacting. Chicago dealt with the same issues the MBTA is facing, including stations with major entrance points at the opposite end of where the train operator is stationed. Most CTA trains are 8 cars in length and are only six feet shorter than a 6-car MBTA Orange Line train. Maybe Midwest transit riders are smarter than their Boston counterparts, but I’m not aware of any plague of riders being injured by doors being closed on them, nor was there a massive increase in crime (in fact, it appears crime on the El system has dropped since OPTO went into effect). There will be a period of adjustment for both employees and riders, and all will settle into new patterns.
User avatar
RailBus63
 
Posts: 1871
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:48 pm

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CRail » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:46 pm

Nobody has said crime would jump, nor that people would be injured by closing doors (however you'd better believe that there will be lawsuits regarding this matter which will cost far more than employing a train attendant), but that when a crime is committed, or an injury occurs, help will likely be much farther away. One other important job of the guard is to make sure that the train isn't dragging anyone down the platform (which happened recently!). The motorman cannot possibly perform this duty along with his own. That is where the risk of death is a factor. To cut bottom jobs so they can add a few more higher ones is not nearly as justifiable in my eyes as keeping the second person on the train, especially for an agency that publicly boasts that safety is the number 1 concern! I don't care what other cities do, I ride the system in Boston, and I am familiar with the needs here. Chicago is a different system, as are the systems in the rest of the world (besides, I'm not sure that I would model anything after the CTA!).

I'm not going to change anyone's opinion and I'm not going to try, but what I'm putting up here is factual, not opinionated (except where noted otherwise, as in what is justifiable). OPTO is not for Boston, period. We already have it, and it's already no good. I've stated numerous reasons why two person train crews are necessary and these reasons hold true in the realistic world, I have no concern for the theoretical one.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2122
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby Arlington » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:35 am

The problem with the "two are safer than one" arguments is that they don't hold up in practice.

When two parents are watching the kids, it is too easy for one parent to say "I can't see Jimmy, but I assume that the other parent is watching him," at a time when in fact, that's just what the other parent is thinking and the reality is *nobody* is watching Jimmy. But when it is just one parent, that parent always knows it is always his/her job to know where all (and not just some) of the kids are at all times. Same goes for OPTO.

The study I read (I'm still looking for it) found that when there's one operator, it is always clear whose duty safety is: The One. WHen there are two, it starts to get fuzzy, and assumptions start to get made, or turn-taking (with slips occuring the turn change).

Perfect example: stopping at a station. Once the train halts, the motorman's mind is free to wander while the conductor cycles the doors.Once the train is moving, the conductor's mind is free to wander until it stops again. You are not getting two full-value safety workers at all times (and worse you have less-than-perfect coordination between the two). But you are paying two full wages.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to get the attention of the motorman in a station about a platform/boarding issue and gotten instead a sort of "check with the conductor" brush-off. Similarly, if you thought a station arrival was too fast or braking too jerky, the conductor gives you a "not my job" reaction.

If passengers get dragged, it is just as likely that it is a communications failure between the two, or that the conductor stopped looking at his doors once the train started moving--or that the motorman was *never* thinking about the doors.

In OPTO you pay 1 full time wage, get one full-time safety worker, and you eliminate hand-off and "who's watching the kids?" assumptions and errors as well as eliminating the "not my job" role-gaming.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3205
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:51 am
Location: Medford MA (was Arlington MA and Arlington VA)

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby Jersey_Mike » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:02 am

Kudos to Arlington for voicing the unintended consequences of TPTO. This is definitely a situation where less could be more. An argument could be made for TPTO on the New York City Subway due to its curvy platforms, extreme train length and high utilization, but the Boston Orange Line is effectively a post 1970 route with stations built with island platforms and good sight lines. The use of a conductor is just blatant featherbedding and disingenuous safety arguments are the sort of BS that have killed organized labor in this country.

The best solution is the CCTV enabled OPTO that SEPTA uses on its Market Frankford Line. Full coverage CCTV is transmitted to an in-cab display. The operator never has to get up for a wrong side platform and avoids the infamous "OPTO lag". The other benefit is that CCTV OPTO allows for a half-width cab and maximum utilization of the interior space for passengers. I am very surprised that more systems haven't adopted CCTV OPTO since the MFL installed it in 1999.
Jersey_Mike
 
Posts: 4689
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:39 am
Location: CHARLES aka B&P JCT MP 95.9

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby Disney Guy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:13 am

If someone is actually caught in the doors there will be commotion outside the train that an astute operator will notice in the TV monitor or by direct observation, under OPTO.

I don't think a train attendant can prevent door holding any more than an operator can.

With recycling doors the operator or train attendant can press the close button once and the doors will all close eventually, no?
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
User avatar
Disney Guy
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Nashua, NH

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby sery2831 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:50 pm

Disney Guy wrote:If someone is actually caught in the doors there will be commotion outside the train that an astute operator will notice in the TV monitor or by direct observation, under OPTO.


Think about a center platform, the operator closes the doors at rush hour, platform is full of people that just got off. Someone is stuck in a door. There is no CCTV on the motorman side, the train leaves with no way the motorman knowing this is going on.

Disney Guy wrote:I don't think a train attendant can prevent door holding any more than an operator can.


They have a difficult time enough with 2 cars at State Street as I said before. How will they deal with all 6, oh that's right they will replace the guard with a higher paid person. I bet an inspector will be stationed at that platform.

Disney Guy wrote:With recycling doors the operator or train attendant can press the close button once and the doors will all close eventually, no?


It is a rules violation to hit someone with a door, so that said closing the doors and waiting for the door being held to finally close via the sensor would be a rules violation.

Just think the first time a door fails, and there isn't a guard to lock it out. How long the delay will be, especially if it's in the 5th or 6th car. But then again with no guards I assume you guys will say the equipment won't fail now.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby CRail » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:59 pm

To add to what John is saying; if someone is being dragged and there is commotion in the station, how is the motorman going to hear this commotion from within his or her cab which is now traveling in a tunnel (presumably)?

Arlington,
A very well thought out and respectable response. I do have to take issue with it, however. You talk about the passing of safety duties between the motorman and the guard (or "Conductor"). When the motorman is operating the train, his job is to maintain the safe operation of the train. The safety on board the train (inside the walls of the cars) is to be monitored and maintained by the guard (or "Conductor"). What you have with OPTO, is the lack of the duty of maintaining the train's internal safety. If you expect the motorman to monitor a CCTV while running the train, then why is it so bad to text? It's just another screen for the person to be looking at while they should be focused on what's ahead of them. Combining these duties eliminates the ability to conduct any of them completely and effectively.

It is the duty of BOTH employees to monitor and maintain safety in their own areas AT ALL TIMES. If this isn't being done (which is certainly the case, and more often than I'd like to admit), then there are issues far beyond what we're discussing here with the operation (which there are!).
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2122
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Official T OPTO Discussion(One Man Subway Ops)

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:04 pm

CRail wrote:If you expect the motorman to monitor a CCTV while running the train, then why is it so bad to text? It's just another screen for the person to be looking at while they should be focused on what's ahead of them. Combining these duties eliminates the ability to conduct any of them completely and effectively.

It seems to me from the posts above that the CCTV described above is a modified version of the platform cameras currently used on the Blue Line, but with the monitor mounted directly in the cab, rather than a system for monitoring the inside of the train.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2594
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests