Metro Magazine

NOV-DEC 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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8 < m ETRO m AGAZINE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 metro news APTA EXPO Heard in the Aisles WHAT IS YOUR AGENCY'S GREATEST CHALLENGE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO OVERCOME IT? "Training is one of the biggest challenges we have. We started train- ing shop attendants to be mechanics. It takes about 18 months. It has worked out well. We just graduated the first class last week, which had eight grad- uates, and seven of them are women." Cipriano Rubio Technology Trainer for Maintenance VIA Metropolitan Transit San Antonio "Funding through MAP-21. Another is in- frastructure. We have had major water line breaks. Our roads have to be maintained to maintain safe commu- nities. And, a lot of people in transporta- tion are retiring." Maxine Wortham Board of Trustees/Vice Chair/ Chairperson, Program Development Peoria Mass Transit District Peoria, Ill. "Funding is huge. If we had a more dedicated source we could do so much more in the maintenance department, like upgrade transmissions for better mileage." Steven Scime Operations Manager Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Bufalo, N.Y. "Increasing rider- ship. We are looking at amenity studies [and asking] what does the customer want? What can we do to meet customers' demands?" Terry DeJuan Rideshare Supervisor Ben Franklin Transit Richland, Wash. "It's no secret [DDOT] is going through difficult times. We're trying to restore confidence in the system. We're focusing on getting more buses on the street and creating a safe working en- vironment for drivers. We just started a police force, so we don't have to depend on the Detroit Police and we're equip- ping all buses with cameras." Paul Toliver Deputy Director/COO Detroit Department of Transportation Detroit "Dealing with dis- tracted driving. We're focusing on awareness in driver training." Ruben Williams Quality Assurance Inspector Metropolitan Authority of Harris County Houston "Driver safety. Lots of [our] drivers have been assaulted over the years. They have been spit on and stabbed. One woman planned to douse the bus with gasoline. The drivers have an oper- ator training program and we just got a grant for safety training." Greg Colletti Director, Procurement Kansas City Area Transit Authority Kansas City, Mo. "We have off-duty police officers in uniform on some routes. It's very expen- sive." Michael Graham Chief Financial Ofcer Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Kansas City, Mo. WHAT HURDLES HAS YOUR OPERATION BEEN DEALING WITH RECENTLY? "Budgets. There is nev- er enough money to go around, especial- ly as the cost of living goes up. So, we're look- ing for more cost-effec- tive parts, educating ourselves and being aware of what things cost, and eliminating any waste. Plus, we're rein- vesting any leftover money back into the equipment." Jarret Whicker Maintenance Manager Utah Transit Authority Salt Lake City "We have to remem- ber not to get so fo- cused on technology that we're leaving cer- tain people like the Baby Boomer generation behind. Technology is important, but we need to remember human interaction as well." Jeremiah Coleman Customer Service Manager Shreveport Area Transit Shreveport, La. "Finding dollars to fund our projects. Something that this EXPO helps with is be- ing able to look at new technology and find new ways to replace old equipment." Joe Puleo VIA Metropolitan Transit San Antonio

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