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thirtydaes

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    The Bronx

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  1. “Be prepared to stop within 1/2 your range of vision” gets broken down into two parts? That’s news to me.
  2. I took the promotional exam in 2015. Immediately after, I searched google and found a very useful resource here: https://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Subway_Signals:_A_Complete_Guide Everything in this guide was more or less repeated in the induction manual. Save and study the information presented and get yourself a head start. Good luck!
  3. Yes, there are options and there is time to pursue them during schoolcar. Your list number will still determine your seniority for picking A or B division. We won't be posting jobs for months though, and those are determined by seniority. Contact Michelle Vargas at: 347.643.8218 ASAP and if you're a B/O go to the general's office and make sure that your performance evaluation has been requested and submitted. The next schoolcar class begins November 27, from what I was told.
  4. I was offered the promotion from Bus Operator to T/O via a phone call this past Friday. Went to Medical yesterday and joined the class that began Monday October 16 today with four other B/O. I strongly advise anyone with a list number to contact DCAS because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how they are promoting. There are 61 in my class, with list numbers from 9-878. That is an obscene range and confirms that they are promoting out of order, without regard to list number. A fellow B/O in my depot informed me of this last week; that they had skipped over our list numbers (430/520) because the depot wouldn't submit our performance evaluations on time. He had to stay in constant contact with our human resources officer and DCAS to finally get them to communicate and resolve the issue. Now we have to fight to re-establish our seniority over the list numbers that were promoted and have been in schoolcar months ahead of us. First impression of training is disappointing, although technically we are in orientation this week and training will begin in earnest once we are split into smaller groups next week. The class is overwhelmingly made up of conductors with only 7 B/O and the TSS are assuming a familiarity with RTO that we do not have. This has put us at a disadvantage early in the training process but I'm hopeful that once we are split into groups next week that will be mitigated. I was also expecting a bit more professionalism and organization in our transfer process; RTO and our depots still aren't communicating and some B/O have been marked AWOL for the past two days at the depot because DCAS or RTO hasn't fully confirmed or certified our promotion. We are also uncertain of our pay rate; most of the B/O have less than 5 years and we aren't at top pay yet and there is confusion surrounding the percentage of the T/O top rate that we will assume. One thing I've learned is that we must stay on top of all of these issues ourselves in order to accelerate a resolution because the HRA component of MTA attaches no priority to anything. Anyone who received a list number should contact DCAS immediately; the list was certified at 1,293 I believe and if they are already into the high 800s many many dozens of eligible C/O and B/O have been skipped over!
  5. Which superintendent, surface? Or RTO? Also, any updates on which list number they are up to?
  6. I've got a question about what happens when a list number is reached: Is an applicant's attendence and disciplinary record reviewed immediately and if it is unfavorable are they immediately disqualified, without any notification that their list number was reached? Or does every eligible applicant receive a letter to report to medical automatically when a list number is reached and disqualified from promotion during processing? In other words, will an applicant even be aware that his list number was reached if attendance/disciplinary record disqualifies him or her? I'd like an opportunity to justify why I've used 2/3 of my available sick time, am I allowed this?
  7. Took the exam yesterday, January 10 at Midwood High School. It was packed. The exam itself was robust; the questions were challenging & the multiple choice answer selections were similar enough that you really had to read the info presented and respond just as it directed. I enjoy interpreting the psychology of testing and this one was clear: Read all instruction carefully and respond only according to established procedure and protocol. That's exactly what this position will entail. I think I did very well, the answer key is scheduled to be released on February 14.
  8. As a driver on the SBS 12, I can report that enforcement appears at a stop at least once every tour. What surprises me is that only 2 or 3 riders are ever pulled off of the bus for fare evasion. I read somewhere that statistically, fare evasion on the SBS is below the average of 13% on standard routes. Most riders indeed pay the fare.
  9. Actually, going dark to Pelham skips 4 bus stops and there is a shortcut that eliminates two or three stoplights. It can save 7-10 minutes, which is significant.
  10. When I wrote "driver's compartment" I should have clarified it as the driver cab. I'm not speaking of the storage area but the entire area where the operator around the operator seat. It's usually filthy. And I would be given a death stare if I dared refuse a bus because the driver cab was dirty. As for delighting in getting redlined and having to kill time in the Depot instead of on the road driving, that's just not my thing. I'd always prefer to be on the road, time passes much quicker that way. Thanks for the suggestions though.
  11. I'd rather not reveal the depot explicitly here to protect privacy. But I've probably offered enough context clues for an educated guess to be accurate.
  12. Standby (shuttle) buses are implemented on the Select 12 in extreme traffic conditions. They shuttle passengers from the mall to Pelham Bay Station. Most recently was during the holiday last weekend and Mother's day weekend.
  13. Today (May 29) makes 5 months. It's been an experience. I'm a former Greyhound driver so I was familiar with operating a bus, which has worked in my favor. There were 24 of us that were assigned to my depot (7 initially for line training and then the other 17 were drafted after graduation because the depot was so short of manpower.) Several operators have had minor collisions already. 3 were terminated, just in the last two weeks. One had too many customer complaints and another was habitually late and had an altercation with a dispatcher. The third ran 2 or 3 red lights (this is all second/thirdhand info, unofficial). Passengers and NYC traffic are the greatest sources of frustration. I have to remind myself that this is the employment position I wanted and worked so hard to achieve. I've come to realize that this job is primarily a customer service position: It's all about managing your frustration with traffic, delays, and passenger behavior while remembering that your responsibility is to provide patient and courteous service. I'm reminding myself to smile and put myself in the mindset of serving our passengers. It is helping with much of the frustration. I don't want to dread coming to work. It's way too soon for that. So I'm going to keep smiling.
  14. Hi everyone....I've been lurking in this particular forum since its creation in June 2012. List number between 150-200...got the call November 2013 but deferred. Reinstated myself on the list in September and my appointment date was 12.29. Graduation day was 2.11. I have some observations and feedback about the training process and first 4 weeks on the job I'd like to share: I'll begin with the Qualification process: I think it should encompass the entire 10 days. For those who qualify on Day 7, the 3 days spent packed on an RTS bus with 30 other students and one chance to drive for 20 minutes would be better spent on the qualification buses, with the opportunity for greater instruction with the 3 other students qualifying with you. Those 3 RTS days were a waste...and easily the most unpleasant part of training. Line training should be overhauled as well. I don't think it's in our best interests to line train with drivers with the highest seniority. Nearly everyone I trained with had 20-25 years of experience and quite frankly, had developed some really bad driving habits. They were focused on retirement and often lacked patience. We were pressured to keep the time points, which can be detrimental for really new drivers. There's only so much "Do as i say but not as I do" before your driver trainer loses credibility. In my opinion, in line training new drivers should be partnered with drivers with 3-5 years seniority. These are often the savviest and safest drivers: they've passed probation but are still new enough on the job to be able to relate to rookies. I believe they are more inclined to remember, follow & demonstrate the safer driving skills rookies need to adopt in order to be successful. I don't know if it's like this in every depot, but in mine (I won't reveal it) we are faced with a lack of buses that seriously impacts the service we provide. On two days last week, I counted 30 drivers waiting around for a bus to begin their morning/afternoon runs. These drivers pulled out anywhere from 20-90 minutes late. This is unacceptable. I would estimate we have about 25-30 buses "out of service" for maintenance at any given time. Why aren't the buses better maintained?? Speaking of maintaining buses, the driver's compartment in every bus I've been assigned to is filthy...nearly unsanitary. I've never seen anyone clean the steering wheel, farebox and dashboard on any bus in my depot or even anyone to whom that job function can be attributed. My first week or two in line training I caught multiple colds, everyone who line trained in our depot did, until our immune systems finally adjusted. Wash your hands as soon as you can after you're out of the driver's seat and carry and use hand sanitizer. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands while you are driving. Trust me. I'll add more in another post...
  15. I'm a driver on the SBS 12 and I can tell you that Friday afternoon/evening traffic is often beastly. The buses discharging passengers at the Bay Plaza terminal and going out of service were likely behind schedule & authorized to head to Pelham Bay without passengers in an attempt to get back on schedule. Additionally, at the time you noted, there are runs that are over and pulling into the depot. This happens frequently on Friday evenings: traffic causes us to back up and then 4 or 5 select buses are bunched up arriving at the Bay Plaza terminal together. Let's say one of those is closing out the run and pulling into the depot, another may be behind schedule and "going dark" to Pelham Bay; the driver of another may be exhausted or need a bathroom break and goes out of service to handle that, leaving only one bus to immediately turn around and load passengers again. The evening dispatcher at Pelham is usually pretty good at observing the bigger picture and putting drivers in place at the expense of 4 or 5 minutes additional waiting time for passengers. At least the runs are spaced out again for a little while, but then Fordham Rd. Friday traffic causes bunching again.
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