Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

METRO Strikes Again

Subcontracting Drivers Is NOT A Good Idea...

You know what METRO needs? Driver ejection seats.

Yup, a handy little device that's hooked up to all the passenger seats, so passengers can decide whether it's a good driver we trust to get us to our destination, or one that needs to get blasted out the roof and replaced with someone competent. You reach the 75% 'You Suck' level, whooof, you're gone!

Seriously, we need to be able to force a vote of No Confidence on some of these maroons. If you fail the vote, you get left at the nearest stop, and the passenger with the most large vehicle driving experience gets to finish the route.

"But... but... El Capitan!" you say... "A passenger will have no knowledge of how to drive a big flex-bus!!"

Oh, like the trainee drivers they're giving check-rides to during rush-hour traffic yesterday are any better! The First Transit trainee we had on the 214 yesterday was so bad, I contemplated asking her to pull off to the side of I-10 so I could walk the rest of the way. She slammed the bus to a stop numerous times, failed to signal lane changes, and flat out didn't know the route. The "supervisor" was just about as bad, offering little or no useful guidance, and she had to ask him to repeat himself several times, as he talked in a whisper.

Those First Transit contract drivers all have a "Safe Driver" patch on their shirts. Silly me, I thought they got them for, well, safe driving! Nope, everyone wears them, even the ones that have been in an accident. Personally, I think after the driver goofs up, they ought to be paraded out in front of the other drivers, have their patches, badge, and driving gloves ripped off and stomped on, then be sent to drive the Greyhound long-haul routes.

I think METRO made a mistake contracting out to First Transit. It just gives them one more level of non-accountability when they deliver poor service.