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cautionbusisturning

Safety & Technology

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Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any insight into whether the implementation of the 'Talking Bus' technology is having any positive impact on public safety? 

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mta-buses-blare-alert-warn-pedestrians-article-1.2061529

I live on the M79 route on the upper west side and the noise impact along the route is significant.  I've also spoken with several bus drivers who have said they don't have any control over how the technology works (ie they don't have a kill switch), and also they find it incredibly annoying as well. 

I read somewhere that the technology is supposed to recognize traffic flow and adjust volume accordingly.    Not sure this is working, and also the signal is triggered without the bus even turning!  By my observation, it is triggered when the bus enters back into traffic.

If the system has been live since 2015, surely we should be able to determine whether it's having any measurable impact?  And if not, then why not redirect these funds elsewhere?

Also found it interesting that in Rhode Island lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to prohibit this noise polluting system.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rhode-island/articles/2018-01-10/lawmaker-files-bill-to-restrict-noisy-bus-warning-system

I've reached out the MTA and got a laughable response.  I've also reached out Helen Rosenthal on the city council.  Does anyone here have any other thoughts or suggestions?  

 

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4 hours ago, cautionbusisturning said:

Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any insight into whether the implementation of the 'Talking Bus' technology is having any positive impact on public safety? 

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mta-buses-blare-alert-warn-pedestrians-article-1.2061529

I live on the M79 route on the upper west side and the noise impact along the route is significant.  I've also spoken with several bus drivers who have said they don't have any control over how the technology works (ie they don't have a kill switch), and also they find it incredibly annoying as well. 

I read somewhere that the technology is supposed to recognize traffic flow and adjust volume accordingly.    Not sure this is working, and also the signal is triggered without the bus even turning!  By my observation, it is triggered when the bus enters back into traffic.

If the system has been live since 2015, surely we should be able to determine whether it's having any measurable impact?  And if not, then why not redirect these funds elsewhere?

Also found it interesting that in Rhode Island lawmakers are trying to pass a bill to prohibit this noise polluting system.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rhode-island/articles/2018-01-10/lawmaker-files-bill-to-restrict-noisy-bus-warning-system

I've reached out the MTA and got a laughable response.  I've also reached out Helen Rosenthal on the city council.  Does anyone here have any other thoughts or suggestions?  

 

You could try barking up your State Sen or Assemblyman's tree as well.

That being said, this is a hobbyist forum, so most of what you're gonna get here is opinions.

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The pedestrian/obstacle warning system that alerts the B/O if something is in the blind spot while turning seems like a much more useful technology. I know they are testing that as well, hopefully they make that standard and get rid of this stupid "THE BUS IS TURNING!!!" system nonsense. 

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thanks for the replies.  I realize this is a forum but really appreciate any/all comments and suggestions.    I'm glad I'm the only one who thinks its stupid.  The only way I can rationalize why anyone at MTA would approve this system is that they thought they could help reduce accidents.  But they clearly live nowhere near a route that uses this technology.

What does everyone else think?  Anyone have any suggestions for people at the MTA I can talk to about this?  

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20 minutes ago, cautionbusisturning said:

thanks for the replies.  I realize this is a forum but really appreciate any/all comments and suggestions.    I'm glad I'm the only one who thinks its stupid.  The only way I can rationalize why anyone at MTA would approve this system is that they thought they could help reduce accidents.  But they clearly live nowhere near a route that uses this technology.

What does everyone else think?  Anyone have any suggestions for people at the MTA I can talk to about this?  

My opinion: I don't even live near the line, but I can say it's not a useless idea,like @QM1to6Ave said, there's better ways to make buses safer. But I wondered how annoying "THE BUS IS TURNING!" would be when they launched it, I ended up giving it the benefit of the doubt. I agree and do feel though they should get rid of it, or at the very least, make sure traffic flow volume adjustment works correctly, it seems poorly implemented.  

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Here is a link to an FTA funded pilot study in Oregon and analysis of the pilot study by Portland State University.   https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/FTA_Report_No._0084.pdf

The Amalgamated Transit Union does not support the use of the Protran system.  https://www.atu.org/media/releases/protran-technologys-talking-bus-so-called-visual-warning-system-are-band-aids-for-massive-mobile-manslaughter-machines


Protran states that the system is also used by LA Metro, Greater Cleveland RTA, PACE Bus (Chicago) and Maryland Transit Administration. http://protrantechnology.com/news   

I was unable to find any data analysis online of these pilot programs.  If you do, I would appreciate if you would share it here. 

Those of us living in neighborhoods in Newport, RI that are by the "talking buses" have concerns. My friends who are on a street where the bus turns start hearing the warning starting at 5 am and going well into the night inside their home.  Apparently we are not alone:  
Washington DC https://ggwash.org/view/6881/talking-buses-another-example-of-wmata-safety-theater
Philadelphia http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/03/10/septa-bus-turn-warning/?amp=1
 

If you are able to find out anything further from the MTA, I would appreciate your posting it. 

Thank you.

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There have been studies done that show that repetitive ambient noise in the workplace increases stress and has a deleterious effect on body chemistry.This, coupled with the fact that this excessive noise pollution removes one of the bus operator's five senses from the safety "equation " should be enough to have transit give serious second thoughts to this ,or at the very least give the operator some control of the system.Failing that,and fail it will, the person whose brainchild  this brain dead technology is should be subjected to riding in the bus four or five hours at a time so they could experience the constant barrage of noise they've introduced into an already pretty stressful job.

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