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Acela Express

[#5025- Bus Operator] Just got the letter!

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Yeah I'm excited, and i liked how Mrs B was patient, and took time to draw up those different scenerio's in traffic. Explaining the different turns and how to make them by drawing the diagrams on the board. Having a question and answer discussion by asking us how would we approach the turn. I took notes down lol.Most of all, who knew that driving the articulated buses are much easier to drive than the RTS's

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Yeah, FutureBusman. My shed of fear was turns, but Ms. B broke it down on the marker-board which really helped. I think we'll be doing some standard turns tomorrow; then the tight turns comes on Wednesday, but I'm ready for all of it.

 

Hey, how about that guy who was taking 20 minutes behind us all to finish paperwork? lmao!

 

And thanks, Dan05979. This was Orientation Day for the start of training at Zerega.

We won't be picking up passengers solo until after Line Training / graduation.

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Yeah, FutureBusman. My shed of fear was turns, but Ms. B broke it down on the marker-board which really helped. I think we'll be doing some standard turns tomorrow; then the tight turns comes on Wednesday, but I'm ready for all of it.

 

Hey, how about that guy who was taking 20 minutes behind us all to finish paperwork? lmao!

 

And thanks, Dan05979. This was Orientation Day for the start of training at Zerega.

We won't be picking up passengers solo until after Line Training / graduation.

 

Ah 10-4, all the best. I see some newbies by 138 and bruckner learning while I wiz by in my trailer.

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Yeah she kept picking on him.lol. That guy who came in at 2 1/2 hours late was very lucky not to be sent home. Like i said she was patient or should i say the entire staff that day was patient. Cause we had alot of people coming in late got caught using cell phones and what not.

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Ah 10-4, all the best. I see some newbies by 138 and bruckner learning while I wiz by in my trailer.

 

How many packs of cigs and cursing you did today Dan?

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Yeah she kept picking on him.lol. That guy who came in at 2 1/2 hours late was very lucky not to be sent home. Like i said she was patient or should i say the entire staff that day was patient. Cause we had alot of people coming in late got caught using cell phones and what not.

Yeah, another Supt. came in to assist Ms. B, but wind up yelling at someone in the back about their cellphone. Haha! There's a huge sign in the front of the class showing cellphones aren't allowed.

 

And I was extreme disbelief they let the gentleman in 2.5 hours late, but he must've had a good reason. It is what it is though. He better sell his soul to God for the next 7 days if he plans to make it. :cool:

 

I'm curious, since you're at MJQ, would your Supt. be having you train in Manhattan mostly? If so, then you'll have the upper hand when we do training next week in Upper and Lower Manhattan.

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Don't know, but will let you know tomorrow. But i have a gut feeling, you might be way ahead of all of us in the class. Just call it a feeling that i have. ;) lol. In any case best of luck to you and anyone else who started training today.:cool:

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Haha, well, thanks FutureBusman, but I'll be in the same seat with you guys making it for qualification, in which I will pass. My only upside against your 8006 guys is that I'll pick before you all. :cool:

 

I'll update for Day 1 progress tomorrow evening.

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Futurebusman and acela express good notes and reporting from the orientation class today. I myself was also in presence. When I got home and logged on here I saw that you beat me to it about reporting Bus Number 230 being at Zerega this morning. You are very quick at reporting the details and being accurate about it, Acela. Looking forward to tomorrow and FutureBusMan i guess I would be with you on the bus.

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Good stuff guys, so the highest list number for this class from 8006 is?

mid 500's? Those 3 students at Ulmer Park are lucky, extra time behind

the wheel for them. 0900 hrs is a decent starting time, hopefully it won't

rain for the rest of this week for you guys.

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I LOVE MS B lol but welcome aboard everyone and GOOD LUCK on your first day tommrrow at BOOT CAMP, remember listen keep your mouth shut unless you don't understand something and take your time. P S I LOVE MS B and she rides bikes.:tup:

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The lowest list number I saw in my row was 312. The highest was 551. That was in my row which was 2 of 3. They seated us alphabetically based on last name. The first name was in the first row on the far left side in the front. Went straight across the room then continued in the second row from the far left seat.

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First day of actual driving, and i must say manhattan driving is crazy!!! I think I did good for the most part. I ran a red light while looking in my right mirror. It changed so fast i was like damn. My fault though should have been driving alot slower, but coming off the highway i was in the zone lol. I handled the bus pretty well, my instructor said very good for the first try. He said i need to work on covering my right better. Either i'm too close or too open . I'm coming into this as humble as hell. One thing i learned today, even the best drivers has to respect that bus, especially driving it MTA's way. And driving it MTA's way isn't that easy at all. You guys are absoulutely right when you said. Listen to your instructors. Turns were very easy.

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Hey - thanks for the progress report, FutureBusman. You have the upper advantage with Manhattan training for now. Where did your Supt. take you - what streets? How'd your other classmates do?

 

I had an exceptional day as well. Our Supt. is absolutely awesome. He's very articulate in all areas, very humble, and funny as well. We all had a good time. He didn't make any of us feel out of place which is why we did very well for a first-time shot.

 

We actually started a bit late because our bus didn't arrive to FLA for another 30 minutes, but we did a pre-trip on #5190 which was parked on one of the tracks. Trip inspection is extremely important and he stressed it as a critical stage for our upcoming DMV road-test. Most of your points come from the pre-trip which is why it makes it so important.

 

Our bus finally came and the instructor pulled out and went down to train in the area by Spring Creek Depot where we joined a number of other training buses - Grand Avenue, Fresh Pond, and one of the Jamaica groups.

 

The area is very light traffic.

 

We did multiple "L" right and left turns; right and left acute angle turns. Your left acute angle turn - your bumper should always be lined up with curb on the opposite side of the street; your right acute angle turn - the middle of your front doors should be lined up with the curb you're going around of.

 

Then we had some f-ing highway training. lmao! First day!

He took us onto the Belt Parkway - Gateway Mall entrance. Unfortunately this is the only problem I had the entire session I was in the seat -- I mounted the curb as I was right-turning into the entrance ramp. lol He said I got too laxed, but it was cool nevertheless. I started turning too early.

 

My classmates did exceptionally well too. We all had our mistakes. But who hasn't when they've never driven a bus before? Overall, we enjoyed the day. Driving a bus isn't difficult, but it isn't easy either.

 

Oh yeah, did I mention that I was thrown into the fire FIRST? hahaha!

 

Some things I think I need to correct: my braking, which I think improved from the first few go-arounds. By me tapping onto the brake pedal, it won't respond; it responds when you push down further on the pedal. That's a big issue. I'm used to a car slowing down at the tap of the pedal.

 

Moral of the day: LISTEN TO THE INSTRUCTOR. Or, in my Supt.'s words: "Yo, just trust me man."

 

We have Day 2 tomorrow; 0600 back at Flatbush.

We'll be driving to Spring Creek Depot and spending some time on their bus simulator for a few hours. But we will be driving as well.

 

Classmates: make sure to review Day 1, and move onto Day 2 tonight. Let's make it for Day 7.

 

No bullshit.

Good stuff guys, so the highest list number for this class from 8006 is?

mid 500's? Those 3 students at Ulmer Park are lucky, extra time behind

the wheel for them. 0900 hrs is a decent starting time, hopefully it won't

rain for the rest of this week for you guys.

I didn't see the list numbers myself, sorry. I focused directly on my seat. lol

 

0900 is a decent time, but it should've been earlier according the Supt..

There's limited amount of buses at 0600 due to the rush-hour movement.

Edited by Acela Express
added flaws.

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Good luck fellas.. Who are your trainers? Just curious.. Let me know if any of you got Mr.V.

 

My career driving is pretty much a wash. But it's all good. If you got any questions, feel free to PM me. I passed my training in 7 days. Did it out of West Farms.

 

Like it's already been said, Listen & learn.

Easy on the Brake.

Forward Planning.

Constant scanning of your mirrors.

Make sure you are "diving" into that right mirror.

Don't forget to use the center mirror on your turns.

Be vary cautious of bicyclists and keep your distance from them.

Take your turns slow.

Keep two hands on the wheel.

 

And master that Pre-trip.

 

ALSAPS

 

Air leakage rate check

Low air warning device check

Spring brake check

Air compressor cut off (meanwhile doing your wrap-around inspection of the driver's bay)

Parking brake check

Service brake check.

 

Remember when practicing straight line backing, YOU MUST physically exit the bus, walk to the rear and make sure nothing/no one is behind you. As you walk back to the front, when you reach the center of the bus, turn and look back again. B4 you step into the bus, turn and look back again. As soon as you get into that seat, while you are putting on your seatbelt, look in your mirrors behind you.

 

Parallel parking is easy, just gotta stay between 6-12" from the curb. Slow and steady movement and steering. Piece of cake.

 

Also during the Pre-trip, everything you are stating that you are checking, physically touch.

 

When you are driving, call out speed limits, overhead clearances, any approaching pedestrians or bicyclists,etc... That way your instructor knows you see them. And it is a MUST on your road test.

 

Good luck again guys/gals. :cool:

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Most importantly, when in that classroom & on that bus, keep the cellphone away and off your body. Get into the habit b/c there is zero tolerance when you finally get out on your own. Forget about the other guys with time on the job, that you will see talking on them while driving, or texting, or even having it on their belt.

 

You are on Probation. You will be fired the first time you get caught touching that phone while you are in that seat. If you are on a break, or between trips and you want to use it, step off the bus. You never know who is watching.

 

Just some advise from a fellow probie.

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See it was the opposite for me, i excelled on the highway. It was smooth sailing for me. Okay, i'll get a little more detailed on Day 1. I reported at approximately 8:45, I had to report to quill as you may or may not know. I decided to take mass transit because i was not sure if there was parking for the employees. Upon arriving, i found out that there was parking on the roof for us, that means i'm driving to work tomorrow. My instructor was a manager. Well that's what he said. I was expecting a drill instructor, instead I got a human being who was all about business and no games. Saftey was his main concern. He stressed saftey. And he is right. I have no qualms about him and his way about how he teaches. He's strict yet fair. He jokes but knows when to get serious. For the first hour we all talked about the job and what was expected from us. Then he drove to the bronx, while driving he was talking about different scenerios, actually i thought he was the reincarnation of nostradamus. He predicted what was going to happen in traffic and it did..for e.g a taxi pulling out, a person crossing the street without looking, light changes etc etc. After arriving in the bronx we did the pre-trip inspection. Pretty basic stuff, well all got the jist of it pretty quickly. Then we performed the alsaps.....i'm not going to lie i caught a brain fart on i think the air compressor....i skipped and went to parking. I had to back track then lost my train of thought on the next one...but i recovered. We all did okay on that also. We drove around the bronx doing left and right turns. And basic driving. We all did good. We just have bad habits and all he did was point them out to us. My bad habits are either driving too close to the right or not covering my right, right away. But my reason for that is, while forward planning i'd see a hazard maybe a half a block away. Id go to my left. Then i'll see another hazard maybe another half a block away that is on my right. So i just stay left lane. BAD HABIT. Cause sure enough he said make a right turn but could not right away because a damn yelloww cab snuck up on me on my right. This was my first ever time driving anything this big before. Going back two of us drove back. The first guy, he was pretty good, he drove back from the bronx to the triborough bridge to 125th street. He drove through crosstown on 125, then i took over. I got on the ramp on highway 9a( westide highway from 125 to 79th street). Easy as 1, 2 3. Got off at 79th, then drove back to the depot. The coolest part was taking the bus up the ramp with no help from the instrctor. I used my mirrors and parked the bus like i just came back from a run. Overall I'll say for the first day i did okay but i have plenty of work to do. Now that i have a feel for it, i'm definetly going to do better. I drove in the bronx/manhattan on my first day in relativley heavy traffic. I'm proud of myself for that. I've gained a new respect for B/Os. Guys it is not as easy as you think. But it is not as hard as you think either.

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Nice report, FutureBusman.

 

I had that same issue too with forward planning by getting into my left lane when I see a double-parked vehicle ahead, but you have to stay covering your right at all times; it's good forward planning, but never too early because it opens that hazard as you said.

 

It sounds like you're the only one who got some Manhattan experience in for the moment as you were the one who drove back to depot after 125th.

 

Your instructor was a Superintendent, as they all are.

You can call 'em managers as well.

 

I will do better tomorrow, definitely.

 

jmazz77, sorry to hear about your situation as I read a few weeks ago.

My instructor is Superintendent Stewart.

 

And thanks for the tips.

 

I tell you one thing - it fuccing sucks not wearing gloves; your hands get sweaty holding the wheel for a while. It's funny how this is the rule, but I see all operators ignoring it, but of course they're off probation, so I can't place myself into that category just yet.

 

And, as for ALSAPS, our instructor performed it solo style but expects us to do it on the coming days when we get into the seat. The book can tell you these things, but it's different when your instructor actually illustrates it. Much better focus I tell ya.

 

Will update for Day 2 tomorrow.

Edited by Acela Express
grammar

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Today was OK for me, though I went last, which sorta sucks cause you get tired from the whole session. It's the feeling that you want to go first when you're fully energized and focused, but feel drained out after 8-9 hours have gone by.

 

We headed today MTA Bus' Spring Creek Depot for bus simulation, which wasn't bad at all. I did well on the simulator compared to the others, but when I went to park the bus and shut down, I skidded the curb. lol Not a bad way to end the simulation session, eh? haha.

 

The first classmate was driving through East New York / City Line near Jamaica Avenue going through some really, really tight turns. His first shot he had to back-up the bus, but it was two reasons: 1. he turned a bit too late, and 2. the bus had a short right which, if fixed, he would've made the turn by an inch.

 

The other classmates drove to and from Bayside, Oakland Gardens, Jamaica, etc., but didn't do as much moderate-to-heavy traffic as myself and the first classmate did with the bus. I got the short end of the stick, but somewhat managed.

 

I took over coming back into Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway State Road - a block away from I-678, and took it all the way back to Flatbush Depot.

 

I had a bit of flaws today, and some improvements. I was able to call out my hazzards; I kept my 4-ft clearance - mastered it actually. However, my flaws is still with the braking, but that was because I lowered my seat making legs sorta struggle with the pedals, which I didn't realize until after when I was coming home. Also, our bus, #9618, had a malfunctioning horn which was constantly going off and on distracting the hell out of me. It's one thing to deal with surrounding scenarios, and people on the bus talking and such, but it's another when you have the actual horn blasting in front of you and you can't control it. So it threw me off my game a lot today.

 

I also need to watch those don't walk signs to know if it just came on to avoid running a red light, or if I can make it. It happened 2-3 times where I thought I had it, or just didn't take too much notice to those indicators and wind up jamming breaks to a stop to avoid entering the intersection on yellow.

 

Otherwise, everything went to so-so today. My instructor did tell me he think it had something to do with my seating because I didn't make the same mistakes yesterday, and being I'm tall my legs are having a hard time control the pedals because my knees are yanked up somewhat. I realized that doing my "self-review" coming home.

 

Anyway, a lot of room for improvement, which will be shown for tomorrow and Friday. Instructor said day 1-4 will bear nothing on his final evaluation so it's best to screw up now than later when it really matters.

 

Off to the drawing boards again. lol

Brushing the dirt of my shoulders, and it's off to Day 3 tomorrow.

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How tall are you? the bus has tilt steering right?

I would figure you want to move the seat as far up

as possible for maximum visibility.

 

That bus would have been taken out of service

for the horn malfunctioning.

 

Timing those don't walk signals is going to take time.

I think it's better to stop early then roll through an

intersection with a steady red.

 

#9618 is a 1998 Nova RTS, I believe they have 4 training buses

at Flatbush.

 

By day 5 you should be getting the hang of it, the more you do

something, the easier it gets.

 

Out of the 4 in your group, how many have CDL's?

 

Thanks for the very detailed update, you must be exhausted

after being on a bus for almost 8 hrs.

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Locomotion69, I'm 6' 1". I changed my seating style between yesterday and today which f**kked me up for my legs. I grabbed the concept though - the bus isn't your car. lol In the car I slide the seat all the way back, and lean it just a bit for my body to relax, and my legs stretch more; however you can't do this with a bus, as I noticed now. I slide the seat back as I usually do, but this time I took the air out of my seat and lowered myself instead of high like before. When the seat is low it causes my knees to raise up since the rest of your body is lowered; the other way allows my thigh-to-knee to be leveled or declined just a bit to be comfortable. Either way I'm changing tomorrow. haha!

 

Well, timing the 'don't walk signs' wasn't the issue; the issue came into play when I'm fixated on everything else around me but not noticing the "don't walk" sign a few times until the last minute when it stops and the signal turns yellow. This just gives me more to look into for tomorrow and get better.

 

I've written down everything my instructor saw that needs improvement along with my own stuff that way I can keep it in my head mentally. It's either master it now or lose yourself in Manhattan on qualification days. No one wants the latter.

 

There's only one student with his CDL - he's the oldest; the rest of us have permits, with me being the youngest. lol

 

BTW, the horn malfunctioning wouldn't be an excuse to take it out of service because now they'll say, "Well, your horn is working when you touch it, right?", which is what my Supt. explained, as much as we ALL wanted to return the bus and get a replacement. We were deep in Queens - Francis Lewis and Northern Blvd when it started happening (with the classmate before me).

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Acela Express: Watch out for jamming on those brakes, People tend to fall down often. :D after training, try to stop before white line, but in case of missing the light, you still have the width of the cross walk to use up ;) ( except if people are actually crossing in front of you.)

 

I am just like you, i move the seat all the way back and let all of the air out. As well as move the seat back as far back as it goes. And in order to keep the pressure from the hip you can raise the front of the seat up. there will be a knob on the side or two small buttons underneath the front corners of the seat.

 

If the bus is not as it should be, call console, tell them there is a problem, and you dont feel that you can drive the bus safely to its destination. As soon as you tell them that you can not drive it safely, they will tell you to pull in. Dont do it for little stuff or you will get in trouble, but stuff like horn going on and off by its self is defenetly a problem.

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Acela Express,

 

I'll stick my neck out and say that the horn will be fixed when you report tomorrow or if there is another training bus avaiable that could be the option.

 

It is not up to you to go over your instructors head to call that bus in as a safety defect. While you are on the training bus you state your concerns to the instructor. He or she will decide whether to call it in. After graduation when you are the "Captain of the Ship" then it will be your decision to make.

 

All the best!

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Acela....my instructor said, if the don't walk sign has been blinking for a while slow down. If you are approaching the intersection and it is still blinking. STOP. Before the line of course and cover your right. He states that you are in no rush. It is not a race. SAFETY is the priority. I did that today, and no problems with the lights changing. I did okay today as well.We did hook turns and acute angle turns. Lets just say I got my nose dirty today. I made a turn that was so tight today but because i got my nose dirty, i was able to complete it. I got a better feel of the bus today. A huge improvment from yesterday. I got the first day jitters out of my system. And it showed. I drove on the highway fine, through moderate traffic fine. At the end of the day however i did mount the curb. Was not much i could do . I was turning into a very very narrow street. The end of the street that the bus was on is a dead end, so you have to turn right. But there were cars parked along the dead end and on the right corner where i would line up the pole at to make a right turn. Talk about difficult. I decided to hook it. It appeared to be working where i was clearing the curb then i ran out of room in front of me. I could not adjust because there was no more "real estate" to move to. It was either hit the parked cars or mount the curb. So i mounted the curb. I was dissapointed because i wanted a perfect day. But it's a learning experience. My instructor said if i had hooked it further left, i probably would have made it. Good luck tomorrow.

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