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 Arlington » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:52 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.


Text reading is reading, not looking. As humans, we're good at processing sounds and *images *that describe our situation. Call it the product of millions of years of our evolution as hunters, but looking at images (like rearview/sideview/backup/doors/platform) for danger around us is in the brain's "situational awareness' groove. The more, the better.

Listening for sounds of danger is easy. Listening to talk is a little harder, Reading (anything) is harder still, and talking back is hardest of all. CCTV is nearly a pure "good" for situational awareness, but, by degrees, the more verbal things get, the more distracting they are.

Off topic: The other issue with text and phone is actually the large mental effort required to produce words/responses. Talking in the car (whether on the phone or to a passenger) is the hugely distracting thing, not listening. Listening--to radio, a book on tape, or to a monologue from the other end of a cellphone is not distracting. We listened to the radio in our cars for decades without a noticeable impact on safety, but *Talking* (producing verbal communication) apparently sucks up enough brain power to cause accidents. In a world where most people drive alone, the addition, via cellphones, of someone for the driver to talk to has negatively impacted safety. It'd be hard to outlaw talking to passengers in the car, but easy to cut off the phone. The best reason for the "don't talk to the motorman" rule isn't that the driver is distracted by hearing, is is that he's distracted by having to say something back. (the sign could read "the driver won't talk to you while the vechicle is moving...")
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3303
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 Disney Guy » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:37 pm

I don't expect the operator to monitor the closed circuit TV while running the train; the CCTV cameras are (should be) positioned so the operator can see that all the doors are clear and then closed before starting up.

For additional CCTV cameras inside the train, the operator cannot be responsible for monitoring constantly but there could be an emergency button that rings through to the cab and then the operator can stop the train and check the CCTV screen.

Given that hitting someone with the door is an infraction, the operator under Orange Line OPTO will have to examine 18 doors (for 6 cars) before pushing the close button. Having separate close buttons for each married pair if not each car would help so the operator after looking in turn at door #18 (or 6C) and seeing it clear won't have the problem of someone later sticking his head out of door 2 (1B) and getting decapitated.
(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: 788
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Nashua, NH

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

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:31 pm

Hitting passengers with a door is an infraction? I guess nobody told the green line drivers.
jamesinclair
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

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

Postby sery2831 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:04 am

Not sure if that rule applies to the Green Line, or if so, if it is enforced.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

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

Postby StevieC48 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:41 pm

Well there is a tv monitor on the current fleet of the Market-Frankford M-4. It is to assist with the doors. http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?17001
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 sery2831 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:20 pm

Disney Guy wrote:Given that hitting someone with the door is an infraction, the operator under Orange Line OPTO will have to examine 18 doors (for 6 cars) before pushing the close button. Having separate close buttons for each married pair if not each car would help so the operator after looking in turn at door #18 (or 6C) and seeing it clear won't have the problem of someone later sticking his head out of door 2 (1B) and getting decapitated.


Door buttons for individual cars or pairs would be unrealistic and a nightmare to maintain.

StevieC48 wrote:Well there is a tv monitor on the current fleet of the Market-Frankford M-4. It is to assist with the doors. http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?17001


Note how there is no image on the monitor in that picture. The monitor only receives the CCTV broadcast stopped at center island platforms. For safety it does not broadcast images beyond where the cars stop, so they do not distract the motorman from looking ahead. The broadcast is so low powered opposing directions do not interfere in the same station.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

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

Postby CRail » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:46 pm

Arlington and Disney Guy,
Replace "texting" with "watching television." The point has nothing to do with texting, the point is that CCTV is something that would be taking the motorman's attention away from the tracks, which is where it belongs (whether they are required to watch it or not, it is still a distraction). It is also not reasonable to require someone to respond to the PEI while operating a train, as this requires the motorman to talk to the person who will likely be distressed and difficult to understand. This is a job for the second person, and this is why they are there. In addition to operating the doors and making announcements when necessary, the train attendants serve as response personnel. Between stations, they serve as "guards" (which is why that's what they're called) who respond during an incident of any type and magnitude. They take care of things such as the PEI or passenger complaints while the motorman operates, since it is not safe for him to take care of such things while operating a train. I don't see why the guard shouldn't have a TV screen in the cab to monitor between stops, which would make the guards more efficient, but the guard's position should certainly not be eliminated.

Either way, let's break it down:
Pros & Cons
- Decrease in public safety and security
- Decrease in passenger service (you can shove this "customer service" crap down my throat all you want. Riders are passengers, not customers)
- Decrease in jobs (which the state is supposed to be working to increase!)
- Increase in difficulty of the operators job, leading to a decrease in the safety of the operation (separate from public safety)
- Increase in response time when an incident or injury occurs
- Decrease in on time performance due to an increase in station dwell time.
+ Slight decrease in the operating budget's deficit
+ Elimination of possible confusion between duties (which I don't personally agree with, but it is worthy of mention)

Doesn't seem worth it to me.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

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

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:52 pm

Is there any history on when 2-person operations began, anyways? Once heavy rail came about, was there immediately someone assigned to the second set (3rd car of a 4 car train)?

I think we should first look at WHY it started. If there was no safety reason for start of the 2nd operator's position, and other systems currently use just one operator, I don't see what the problem is with going back to one.

But if there was an actual incident that caused this, obviously we should keep it in mind that it was done for a reason.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

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

Postby CRail » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:04 pm

Well, way back when...
There was a guard for every pair. A typical 6 car train would have a Motorman and 3 guards, while a 4 car would have 2 guards, and a deuce would have 1. This was done because each car's controls only operated its own doors (I'm not certain that they were incapable of train-lining this feature, but it was not done in common practice). The controls then were between the cars, not in a cab. The guards responsibility was also to monitor the safety of the pair they were assigned to, watching for any dangers or unruly passengers. The newer equipment allowed for all of the doors to be controlled from one location, therefore extra guards were eliminated and all trains had 1 regardless of length. This position was never added as it was required by older equipment. So to answer your question, they've always been there.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2132
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

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

Postby Arlington » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:11 pm

CRail wrote:Arlington and Disney Guy,
Replace "texting" with "watching television." The point has nothing to do with texting, the point is that CCTV is something that would be taking the motorman's attention away from the tracks, which is where it belongs...


Someone else addressed this. Apparently the screens are rigged to turn off when the train is moving.

CRail wrote:- Decrease in public safety and security
- Decrease in passenger service (you can shove this "customer service" crap down my throat all you want. Riders are passengers, not customers)
- Decrease in jobs (which the state is supposed to be working to increase!)
- Increase in difficulty of the operators job, leading to a decrease in the safety of the operation (separate from public safety)
- Increase in response time when an incident or injury occurs
- Decrease in on time performance due to an increase in station dwell time.
+ Slight decrease in the operating budget's deficit
+ Elimination of possible confusion between duties (which I don't personally agree with, but it is worthy of mention)


The operating budget thing grossly understates the benefits of eliminating the job because one day every operating job turns into a big fat pension. Stop hiring for this unneeded job now and the $ benefits/.

I'm not going to buy the "job satisfaction" thing until they no longer a lottery to allocate new T jobs. Think about that: jobs so choice...where the benefits so outweigh the duties of the job...that they are awarded as lottery prizes.

And really, the "safety" arguments you advance, they really, are the hypothetical here. Every place else that has gone to OPTO has seen safety the same or better. I'm not buying it.

And finally, as to creating jobs, if we're going to borrow $ from our kids to pay for jobs today, those jobs ought to be creating lasting assets that will be there paying back (like infrastructure) when our kids and grandkids are still writing checks to pay it off. The guard job is not worthy of that.

Just my $0.02.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3303
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 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:38 am

Someone else addressed this. Apparently the screens are rigged to turn off when the train is moving.


The CCTV feed is supplied via an antenna in the track gauge at the ends of the platform. The operators have a clear view of the train during the doors closing procedure and when the train moved on the CCTV feed is lost when the train moves away from the antenna.

The operating budget thing grossly understates the benefits of eliminating the job because one day every operating job turns into a big fat pension. Stop hiring for this unneeded job now and the $ benefits/.

I'm not going to buy the "job satisfaction" thing until they no longer a lottery to allocate new T jobs. Think about that: jobs so choice...where the benefits so outweigh the duties of the job...that they are awarded as lottery prizes.

And really, the "safety" arguments you advance, they really, are the hypothetical here. Every place else that has gone to OPTO has seen safety the same or better. I'm not buying it.

And finally, as to creating jobs, if we're going to borrow $ from our kids to pay for jobs today, those jobs ought to be creating lasting assets that will be there paying back (like infrastructure) when our kids and grandkids are still writing checks to pay it off. The guard job is not worthy of that.


Here here, this is nothing but the worst sort of Union featherbedding. Yes there are benefits to having a conductor on the train, but they are simply not worth it. Almost every other transit system in the world has gone OPTO and the level of service has been just fine. You keep trying to pull the safety card, but its total BS. Even if a conductor does prevent a handful of people being dragged, why should the taxpayers spend millions of dollars to protect people who are clearly too inattentive to survive in real life?

CRail and sery2831 should be ashamed of themselves for advocating such a massive leech on the public coffers. Such high pay, low skill, low effort jobs are NOT SUSTAINABLE and should be eliminated wherever possible. The local transit agency is not a make-work programme where people from the neighborhood can talk to their uncle and score plush lifetime employment. It's this sort of antiquated thinking on protection of jobs and work rules that killed both organized labour and industry in America. If the MBTA were a company it would have gone bankrupt and been replaced by Veolia years ago. You should be trying to help the citizens of Massachusetts get the biggest bang for their tax dollar, not preserve the jobs of your union brothers. You need to just deal with the fact that modern technology has made many functions previously carried out by human beings unnecessary to achieve the same level of productivity. If you don't then one day the state will just throw up its hands and you'll be handed over to some MBCR-like entity and you'll lose everything.
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 Arlington » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:56 am

I applaud Jersey Mike for his link to FiveThirtyEight.com (a thoughtful, good-with-numbers, left-leaning political analysis site), but it is unfair to say (at this point) that T jobs come from people's uncles. The lottery system at least addressed the worst of that.

Still, the guard job is indefensible, and really, the Union bosses know it too, which is why the only half-heartedly defend the job, which is as it should be. I think if a strike were called over this issue management would have broad, deep public support. Rather than call attention to how "good" (from the Union's standpoint) the guard job has been for so long, they're smart to let it quietly die. It is not a winner.
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
Arlington
 
Posts: 3303
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 sery2831 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:30 pm

Got a question for you all guys that are for OPTO. So if the second person is not needed, why isn't the Red Line going OPTO at the same time. Are they saying it's not safe for OPTO on the Red Line but safe for it on the Orange Line?
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

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

Postby StevieC48 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:08 pm

But still it is a CCTV in theory but thanks for letting me know what it is used for John. :wink:
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 danib62 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:24 pm

sery2831 wrote:Got a question for you all guys that are for OPTO. So if the second person is not needed, why isn't the Red Line going OPTO at the same time. Are they saying it's not safe for OPTO on the Red Line but safe for it on the Orange Line?

Well I think you need to a little bit of cost/benefit analysis. There is a cost for having a guard but there are benefits too. You do have some safety and operational benefits from having a guard. The red line has a greater passenger load so the cost is spread out on more riders. Per passenger the cost of maintaining a guard on the red line is less so this makes it more worthwhile to keep the guards for the safety and operational benefits.

Personally I still don't think it's worth it even on the red line. Within 5 years I bet we'll be having this conversation again about the red. two person operation on the red line has still given us many gems like this: http://www.boston.com/video/viral_page/ ... 4306614001
"We are running with normal train service on the Red Line. We apologize for the inconvenience."
User avatar
danib62
 
Posts: 1515
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:01 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests