FTSN Quarterly Meeting – December 9, 2015 (8:30 am)

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The Florida Transit Safety Network held its quarterly meeting at Jacksonville Transportation Authority in Jacksonville, Florida on December 9, 2015. The meeting was well attended; members introduced themselves and shared a current, relevant issue from their property. Three FTSN members joined the meeting by phone.

FTSN Committee Reports and Discussions were first on the agenda as follows.

Committee Reports and Discussion

Collisions Committee

  • Colin Mulloy (JTA) began the Rear-end Collisions committee discussion by sharing that JTA and LYNX are working on improving rear-end lighting. These agencies are trying to determine what exactly is allowed in lighting designs. Colin shared the JTA LYTX Drivecam report card with statistics showing JTA has 39% decrease in collisions this year. The recommendations were to continue coaching/training on the riskiest behaviors with drivers to ensure continuity and consistency. Colin reminded the group that we need to use our safety network to improve safety for all public. We will bring weight to the legislature when we propose this. View Presentation
  • Paul Goyette (LeeTran) reported that LeeTran reduced rear-end collisions in the past couple years by utilizing caution reflective tapes and moving some rear end lighting placement. They have also moved bus stops into turn lanes and built pull-offs anywhere the speed limits of 45+ mph. It is costly but effective. Paul suggested promoting a public campaign to end distracted driving.
  • Victor Wiley (FDOT) reminded the group to be careful putting ads on the back of busses, as the ads are distractions themselves. The Department is considering the initiation of a statewide campaign to improve safety, warning drivers to be alert to buses making frequent stops.
  • Lisa Staes (CUTR) shared that FDOT may be initiating a statewide campaign to improve safety, warning drivers to be alert to buses making frequent stops.
  • Steve Berry (LYNX) and Colin (JTA) are working together with FDOT on solutions to rear end lighting. LYNX has seen a 25% increase in rear-end collisions in spite of many efforts to reduce collisions. Other properties were successful in reducing rear-end collisions. LYNX has been trying different options. 7” rounds are most effective, which resulted in improved safety while being more cost effective. LYNX removed the lighting strip, which was too high to be effective anyways, and added the 7” rounds, resulting in a cost reduction of $400/bus. Steve added that he is glad the group is discussing this topic. We all want to reduce collisions and improve safety all the way around.
  • Victor (FDOT) reminded the group that sometimes FDOT has to enforce things that we do not want to enforce. Agencies must wait until mandates are changed before lighting configurations can be altered/changed. Otherwise, agencies could lose funding if they are in non-compliance.
  • Paul Goyette (LeeTran) brought up that there is a human side to the collision factor. At LeeTran, all new drivers are taught that they have the ability to influence the driving of all vehicles around them. The way a bus driver stops and pulls off can influence the driving of the vehicle behind the bus. Drivers need to realize how they influence the role other driver’s driving habits.
  • Colin (JTA) added that route optimization and near miss reporting has helped with the stop placement decision making and with operator training. The reduction in collisions has helped reduce insurance costs, and allowed JTA to work with external partners. JTA has relocated hundreds of stops, using route optimization, including eliminating several stops. JTA improved and doubled down on training, looking at the issue of safety from all views. There is no one quick fix, but we have seen improvements from all these changes. We have considered new lighting, such as flashing stops instead of deceleration lights, but have not used it yet. They would have to be retro fitted.
  • Quintus Douglas (StarMetro) is also looking into utilizing bigger red/stop lights.
  • Victor (FDOT) wants everyone to be mindful of the message the lights send to the drivers around the bus. What is the light signaling to the other vehicle (i.e. stopping, emergency, moving into traffic, etc.)?

14-90 Joint Committee Meeting Report

  • Lisa (CUTR) shared that FDOT asked for a joint committee of the sufficient stakeholders of the Florida Operations Network, Florida Transit Safety Network, and Florida Transit Maintenance Consortium networks to work together for recommendations regarding amendments to 14-90. A joint committee (called OMS for Operations, Maintenance, and Safety) with representatives from each group held a conference call in October for the purpose of identifying items they wish to change or modify. Minutes of the phone call were provided to all FTSN attendees. Colin, Jim, Paul, and Steve represented the FTSN in the OMS joint meeting. We went through each section to get comments from the FTSN. Also included is a pocket guide to 14-90. The items discussed were:
    • Issues
    • Concerns
    • Requested changes
    • What are your issues
    • Standards we want
    • Minimum training guidelines
    • New operator training
    • Curriculum
  • Paul (LeeTran) encouraged everyone to take the time to read the provided notes. He would like another OMS joint conference call to further discuss the great ideas brought forth by the committee. After the joint meetings, the committee plans to begin the framework process for the 14-90 amendments. Paul suggested we follow the framework for amendments already in place by the feds, etc. It was recommended to address the following:
    • Incorporate some things into mandatory refresher training.
    • Set the rules up to be more like drug and alcohol rules; all rules should line up.
    • The content here is worthy of a small meeting on its own because we cannot cover it all in this meeting.
  • Rob Gregg (CUTR) shared that the Florida Operations Network (FON) meeting is next week. They will also address the items discussed in the OMS joint committee conference call. Afterward, we will have another joint committee meeting before presenting suggested amendments to FDOT.
    Paul (LeeTran) stated that being able to meet without FDOT representatives gave the freedom to discuss alternatives and get everything out there. FDOT can now review the good framework – What is FMCSR doing and do we want to do that? Colin (JTA) added that common/similar language should be used across the board.
  • View co

Fatigue Committee

  • Eustache Miné (RTS) asked for an update on the discussion of minimum time off (8 vs. 10 hours) between shifts. He added that even if you give additional time, it does not guarantee the driver will rest. Victor (FDOT) reminded the group that FMCSR is not applicable to public transit. Everyone should read the TRACS Report on fatigue management, especially the suggested standards for hours of service.
  • The group discussed that part of the reason for increasing minimum time off was due to travel time to work. Some believe going to 10 hours would be costly to the agency, and once the time is increased, it would be very difficult to reduce the hours if proven to need to be reduced. Unions would certainly push back during the bargaining agreement time period.
  • Jim Egbert (MCAT) spoke about the hypocrisy in the fatigue awareness conversations. We give operators an 8-hour block off while realizing they cannot afford to live close to where they work. So, if they live an hour away they are left only 6 hours to sleep, assuming they only drive to home and back without taking time to eat, shower, etc. Then require them to be well rested. We have a personal responsibility; the agency needs to take personal responsibility. Other comments included:
    • Paul (LeeTran): We need to be careful of the impacts of changing the rules and the difficulties of reversing the rules we change.
    • Stache (RTS): We were told we violated 14-90 because we were giving 12 hours off, and they complained to the union. We called Victor about this issue. No one worked more than 12 hours, but the union disagreed. You can be stricter than the rule, but not less strict.
    • Dave Kelsey (HART): If we limit the time they can work, we have to be careful of grievances filed for not offering hours of service. We follow FMCSR Rules, and try to get 10 hours between shifts. The extra board want to work more because they want overtime/more money… currently negotiating 10 hours off into new contract and will advise. All hours of driving (behind the wheel) are considered in 14-90. Recently, HART had to fire a senior driver for not reporting driving hours from a second job.
    • Rosemary Bosby (StarMetro): The biggest fear is putting it in writing and if they cannot make the hours with us, they will go out and get another job.
    • Victor Wiley (FDOT): If a driver looks fatigued, you cannot put that driver on the road! Safety must trump service.
  • Don Worrell (StarMetro) asked if anyone has policies on distance from work to home. Stache stated that RTS won’t even interview if they are not willing to relocate to be closer to work. Steve Berry (LYNX) shared a story of a LYNX senior driver who decided to sleep in his car in the parking lot instead of driving home, because of the distance. The man had a heart attack in his car and died. In addition, LYNX has found that drivers taking “vacation time” to work for other employers such as Uber and Lyft.
  • Jim (MCAT) asked if any agency tracks their operators who may move (farther away) after being hired.
  • Paul (LeeTran) stated that the 8 hours off is for protection and safety of the driver, but in larger agencies it was a management issue. Stache said that he is not totally against the change, but if we are making a change, we need to know why.
  • Victor (FDOT) shared that the National Sleep Foundation found body needs minimum of 6 to 7 hours of rest. If all things are considered like distance between work and home, single parents, time to eat, and handle normal day-to-day household responsibilities, etc. we have to care. Fatigue management requires a holistic approach, including a wellness program. We cannot manage their personal lives or mandate that employees sleep while off duty, but we should at least give them the opportunity to sleep. Remember once it is in writing we have to follow it! Currently Rule 14-90 requires that a driver be off duty a minimum of 8 hours after having been on duty for 16 hours and/or driven for 12 hours within a 24 hour period. FDOT is considering the research project “Safety Implications of Transit Operator Schedules Policies” as well as other relevant research and stake holder suggestions to increase this minimum off-duty time. Currently there are no Federal hour or service standards for public transit bus drivers, but FTA has suggested to the FTA Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) that they will be considering a standard- hours of service as they develop their new safety standards. All agree that hours of service policies do incur a cost and may effect bargaining agreements. One fatigue management approach will not solve all of our problems. The bottom line is that we are the door that opens 14-90, and we need to manage that door. We need to have a better analysis of the effects as a whole.
  • Stache (RTS) brought up some differences between the new (younger) drivers who want a lunch break. Older drivers want to work straight through, without a split shift. If it becomes a rule, we will comply. Looking at data from preventable collisions, we cannot tie it back to fatigue, even though it cannot be ruled out.
  • Brian Pessaro (CUTR) asked if any agencies are using eye technology, which can tell if the driver is fatigued, and monitor drowsiness. No one is doing so at this time.
  • Theo Bakomihalis (PSTA) asked about costs of collisions to the agency. Life’s responsibilities do not allow 8 hours to be enough time off between shifts in his opinion. He shared that when he was an operator and given 8 hours off he slept for 4 hours, maximum. Safety must prevail because 8 hours off does not allow for that.
  • Steve (LYNX) stated the industry is changing rapidly. The “professional” vs. the “experienced” is creating a dynamic that clashes, how new people who have never worked in transit are being put in positions with decision-making authority, with major disconnect. The millennials are smart and we need to tap into their knowledge, utilizing the methodology and implementation of policies and procedures. We will need them to implement MAP-21.
  • There are many minimums, and the size of agency varies. We need to be careful what we ask for – can one size fit all? Management should have the wherewithal to take minimums to the ceiling if need be. Minimums should not be universal guidelines. We need leaders to excel minimums and increase safety. This group has an obligation to know and understand the consequences of changes.
  • Paul (LeeTran) stated that 200 hours for training minimum is not sufficient for many agencies; minimum should not simply be the guideline. The program and guidelines have to set minimums that small agencies can adhere to, but minimums can exceed in larger agencies. He also made note that we have not had an FTA triennial yet either.
  • Rob (CUTR) made note that this is about assessment, management, and compliance. Reinvent.

“Walking Through the Rule” – Open Forum for Discussion and Recommendations for Rule Modifications

  • Lisa (CUTR) asked for a sidebar on process of the 14-90 standard/policy changing or remaining the same. Victor (FDOT) asked for a summary on positions please. Diana (CUTR) gave an 8/10 hour analogy. Everyone tries to meet the minimum, but some stellar folks do far exceed the minimums. Steve (LYNX) stated that if we allow ourselves to be bound by these items, we have to also discuss the performance side as well. We need to be careful and consider the outputs. Lisa (CUTR) called for a poll. The results were as follows:
    • HART: 10 hours off
    • Indian River: 9 hours
    • JTA: 9-10 hours
    • PalmTran: 8 hours
    • RTS: 10 hours
    • LYNX: 10 hours (but we go down on a regular basis when down drivers)
    • Manatee: 9 hours
    • Sarasota: 8-hour policy, pushing for 10
    • StarMetro: 10 hours, but we go to 8 or 9 from time to time, especially during college break, the extra-board is regularly at 8 hours because of seniority
    • PSTA: 9-10 hours
    • LeeTran: Has 2 shifts, so there is no issue here
    • Space Coast: 10 hours, 9-10 with overtime
    • Baker: 10 hour
    • Pasco: 2 shifts, AM and PM, if someone calls in management drives
  • Rob (CUTR) stated the majority of agencies could comply with 10 hours. Other comments about the change from 8 hours to 9/10 hours were:
  • Lydia Chung (PalmTran) brought up some issues encountered with paratransit service, and concerns with outsourcing. Hours of service are difficult, especially for smaller agencies. Stache (RTS) shared that RTS has a safety bonus added to their contract negotiations for safety success. Colin stated that JTA contracts out paratransit and that oversight is the most difficult to oversee. Lisa (CUTR) noted problems with paratransit in rural areas, and asked if the group was supporting a particular platform. Victor added that a commitment to agency needs to be considered. It appears the majority want to leave language at 8 hours to leave, with management discretion.

Accident Investigation Review Committee

  • Comments from the group indicate that we need better descriptions of data that needs to be collected. Paul (LeeTran) said that before we put the language in the rule, we need to consider how this data should be collected and managed. We need clarity and a standardized way for data collection, to track, analyze, and quantify. Currently we use FTA guidelines, so non-preventable is only when the bus is completely stopped. The committee needs discussion on how the data will be used.
  • Victor (FDOT) discussed the preventable/non-preventable incidents. Currently we only consider the driver’s actions, and if we believe the driver is at fault, the accident is determined preventable. We need to get away from our current approach and stop relying solely on the police report and the driver comments to make a final determination. The agency needs to capture ALL of the event data and analyze it properly, and to also consider training, driver statements, witness statements, vehicle(s) road position, time of day, bus maintenance records, etc. to make a final determination.  Agencies must conduct thorough investigations in order to develop corrective actions and other measures to help mitigate future events.
  • Jim (MCAT) said looking at the whole picture, even non-preventables may have possible improvements through planning and/or design, etc.
  • Paul (LeeTran) added that we need to stop looking only at the operator when an accident occurs. We should also consider placement of stops and other things, and this needs to be required in 14-90. We need an SMS holistic approach. It is unacceptable to look at the driver only, we need to look at everything and make necessary corrections to all options. Think about placement, design, etc.
  • Colin (JTA) said it is a tough consistent battle to incorporate change.
    Paul (LeeTran) shared that his agency is spending $500K on improving the safety of five stops that FDOT designed. We cannot do things the old school way, we need new ways.
  • Rob (CUTR) has visited 17 properties. He reported that most all properties collect data, but some properties do not have the means to utilize/analyze the collected data. Brian (CUTR) added that not everyone keeps the same data in the same way. We need consistency in data collected. Often consultants are incorrect with their analyses as they lack the understanding of standardized reporting for transit. CUTR (Martin Catala) is working on developing tools for agencies to do these analyses. Steve (LYNX) added that we have reactionary work, but no proactive work. We have to ask the right questions and stop accepting wrong responses.
  • Lisa (CUTR) asked the questions – who is collecting the data, who keeps it, who analyzes it, who is collaborating or coordinating? Victor (FDOT) suggested a “Best Practices of Accident Investigation” program. Lisa asked for volunteers to committee with CUTR to help develop such with guidelines for preventability determinations. The committee will be Stache Mine (RTS), Diana Byrnes (CUTR), Joe DeGeorge (PCPT), Chris Stephenson and George Colon (Indian River), Theo Bakomihalis (PSTA), Paul Goyette (LeeTran), Jim Egbert (MCAT), Rosemary Bosby (StarMetro), Steve Berry (LYNX), David Wright (Baker County) and Gennaro Saliceto (SCAT). The group feels the best way to deal with safety is to design out the hazards – operators are not always responsible for the incident. Someone said a novel thought – “if we were airline carriers, our approach toward safety would be very different.” There are acceptable hazards when there are plans to overcome the hazards, agencies still must have to have an SSP. If you cannot plan or build this out, you have to have an idea of what you will do should an incident occur.
  • Paul (LeeTran) stated the broader the requirements are, the more leverage agencies will have. We need planners and all stakeholders present. For instance, drug and alcohol is important to every GM because it is a regulation, it is mandatory therefore they pay attention to compliance. Holistic approaches need to be mandatory requirements as well, to change the required regulations.
  • Victor (FDOT) asked that everyone take their time to consider and develop comprehensive best practices. There was discussion about differences in the health screenings and that the examining physician used should be a medical examiner. FMCSA standards are different because they cover the OTR operator who does not always check into a hub/home agency at the end of each haul. Therefore, we need to be careful of the standards we suggest for 14-90 adoption. Diana (CUTR) suggested including Dr. Natalie Hartenbaum (1-800-732-3784 [First Lab]) as a reference for transit DA program compliance recommendations. Victor explained to the FTSN the process of rule development; we are currently in the first of four stages of the process. Lisa (CUTR) reminded the group that a pocket guide for the process is included in the FTSN meeting materials. It should be noted that rules have the effect of law, every word is scrutinized.
    • Florida Statute 120.54 provides the authority to FDOT to make rules. Florida Statute 341.061(2) provides FDOT the authority to develop safety standards that are outline in Rule 14-90.
    • We can’t just write something, we have to follow an officially structured process which is outline in the FDOT Rule Development and Adoption Procedure.
  • Remember amending is not an easy process. The Rule14-90 committee should talk often, as much as needed, to make sure the recommended amendments are exact to our needs. Cost analysis, hours scheduled, and hearings can hold up the process. The group should think of the outcomes of repealing 14-90, where some of the possibilities may not be ideal. Most importantly, all efforts of submitted amendments may be lost if we do not file within 90 days after the Notice of Rulemaking is published. If FDOT fails to file a proposed rule for adoption during this time frame the proposed rule cannot then be filed for adoption and must be withdrawn.  This would require that we start the process all over from the beginning.
  • The OMS Joint Committee will meet again in January. Victor will need a clear understanding of the suggested amendments so he will be able to defend/support the recommended language. He is anxious to see how MAP-21 will specifically affect public transit.
  • Colin (JTA) made a presentation on the DriveCam currently being used by JTA. It has thoroughly helped to collect near-miss data. This info has helped to identify issues before accidents happen. Some of the statistics indicate a 50% improvement in phase 1. Everyone agreed that collisions are costly and approximately 90% are avoidable. DriveCam also collects the no-damage, risk incidents that drivers are not recording, such as following too close, giving a root cause when manpower isn’t available with a telemetric system that is built into the bus.
  • This is helping with post-accident training, allows for coaching the operator, and protects the operator from false accusations. It has provided significant cost savings for the agency. It should be noted that DriveCam reviews every incident, whereas agencies are only reviewing when there is a reason. These are third party reviews, and coaching (which can be a short session instead of hours long training) is tailored to each driver to initiate positive conversation rather than only interacting following an incident. DriveCam helps with false claims, rolling stop, near-collisions, etc. Only gives 10 seconds prior and following incident, so operators do not feel like big brother is always on their shoulder.
  • Victor asked Colin how JTA was handling noticed/discovered items other than what they were specifically looking for. Colin responded that they are working on a point system now where a certain amount of points will incur required coaching to prevent incidents. For example:
    • With DriveCam, the agency can customize the threshold for speeding, i.e. for 5 mph over or 3 mph over, etc.
    • 90% improvement in riskiest drivers in a 9 month period
  • Lisa (CUTR) asked if JTA had seen reductions in slips and falls from hard braking and Colin replied “yes.” Don Worrell (StarMetro) asked if the DriveCam was catching seatbelt issues. Colin replied that so far the only seatbelt issues had occurred when the maintenance people were not buckling up as they drove the vehicles in the yard while performing maintenance. Some additional benefits of DriveCam are:
    • The system is automatic and reduces input error that comes from spreadsheets
    • These create dashboards and customizable results
    • Generates quarterly reviews
    • Industry benchmarking is now available
    • Monthly best practices calls
  • These benefits has allowed JTA  to recognize good operator performance which is huge – some of the ways the operators are recognized are with special breakfasts and luncheons in honor of their good performance, huge trophies passed around each month to outstanding operator, safety pins, etc. These things have created pride to promote improved performance.
  • Steve (LYNX) asked about free implementation, funding, bids, etc. and does JTA incorporate data into the simulation. Colin replied that he is not sure but he would get in touch with procurement for an answer about free implementation. The answer was “yes, data is incorporated into the simulation and the triggers in the videos are reviewed.” He also clarified that he is not promoting a specific vendor’s product. He was only sharing some of the positive aspects JTA has experienced with DriveCam.

Other FTSN Member Discussions/Presentations

Strategies to Prevent, Reduce, and Mitigate Bus Collisions Report

  • Brian Pessaro (CUTR) gave a PowerPoint update on the Strategies to Prevent, Reduce, and Mitigate Bus Collisions report. There have been 17 site visits, which has given the team a new perspective – this study is like peeling an onion. They have been looking at speed data analysis and extreme rear-end collision rates. 88% of accidents are occurring on roads with speed limits of 40-45 MPH or higher. Most accidents proved to be non-preventable. When considering all types of preventable collisions, indications were high at rookie end, drops, and then increases again for senior drivers. These findings may have something to do with route choice. Rob Gregg (CUTR) added that the data is multi-dimensional, and the report will give the co-relation of multiple variables and individual causes. The draft report will be ready by 12/25/15 with the final report available on 3/25/15.
  • Some feedback from the group included questions and comments such as “can we look at roadways and breakdown by where the accident is happening?” and “rookies tend to be on busiest routes which may contribute to accidents.” HART is starting with training for those operators involved with a second preventable accident, as well as a rewards program of pins and awards, etc. to help produce a prideful environment. MCAT is doing this as well. Lisa (CUTR) added that the point is to determine mitigating results for preventable collisions. Brian reminded everyone that correlation is different from causation. We really need a richer database to dig deeper into the research.

Examination of Passenger Assaults on Bus Transit Systems Report

  • Lisa Staes (CUTR) gave a brief update on the Examination of Passenger Assaults on Bus Transit Systems report and reminded the group that all data in the report to be presented in aggregate – no specific agency is presented. A portion of the study is to determine time of day, groups, and patterns of assaults. Most assaults occur on the bus, 25% occur on Thursday (oddly) and there are 4,300 non-reportable minor incidents each year. Statistically, disorderly conduct = 36%, passenger on passenger assault = 12%, and typically they know each other. Less than 9% of assaults were due to fare invasion; almost 8% of operators were assaulted by passenger. Assault peaks were in April, on Wednesdays, around 3-11 pm. Some conclusions of the research were that nationally operator assaults occur more, and in Florida, passengers are assaulted more frequently.
  • The study indicates that alternative school students and homeless population are the most difficult groups to deal with and hot spot problem areas are identifiable. Dave Kelsey (HART) shared a story of a recent assault where a 62-year old operator felt disrespected by 24 year old who had just been released from prison. The driver was seriously assaulted with brain injuries and will never return to work. The operator would likely not have been assaulted had he not gotten out of his seat.
  • Steve (LYNX) reported that 70% of Grapefruit Line ridership is homeless.  He also shared a story of an operator who was bitten by a passenger which led to 5 hours of testing for AIDS, hepatitis, etc. plus five days of waiting for results during which time the operator could not handle their family’s food, nor have direct physical contact with them. It was a traumatic experience for the operator, the operator’s family, and of course LYNX.
  • Lisa concluded that there are recommendations from the report listed in the PowerPoint presentation.

Substance Abuse Management (SAM) and Program Compliance Report

  • An update on the SAM program was given by Diana Byrnes, which included the introduction of Kim Koutnik, who has joined Diana on the SAM team. Kim will work on compliance reviews in the panhandle. Diana also shared that the new TPA statewide contract is with First Lab, and there is a slight pricing increase. Random testing numbers need to be complete, make sure randoms are taken care of for the year.
  • Diana reported that 17 persons had graduated the inaugural FDOT Drug & Alcohol Program Manager Certificate Program training. The second DAPM class will begin their first intro webinar on December 15 (12 people registered). The course work should be completed by end of March, with a graduation ceremony in October 2016. Diana invited everyone to sign up for the SAM listserv for SAM updates and notifications.

Update on Trainings

  • Open conversation pursued regarding the proposed trainings that are in development, particularly the De-Escalation/Active Shooter CBT. Steve (LYNX) suggested that Chapter 784.07 be posted everywhere on the transit vehicles reminding passengers that it is a felony to assault/battery law enforcement officers, fire fighters, AND public transit employees. Dave (HART) said that postings help when an assault case is brought to court, and it may stop a passenger who is considering assaulting the operator when they recognize felony charges could be brought against them. Roberta (CUTR) shared that Manatee County has postings, which the group may want to consider referring to assault of teachers, bank tellers, etc. It was also recommended that agencies invite local law enforcement to come to their offices and conduct an evaluation of what office staff/employees could do in the event of an active shooter situation. LeeTran did this and felt it was a very valuable experience, and law enforcement welcomes the opportunity. The FTSN needs an outline to determine what to include in the CBT. The Run, Hide, Fight video would be a good example of how to frame the De-Escalation/Active Shooter CBT. Victor (FDOT) wants the group to agree on one technique.
  • Steve (LYNX) reminded everyone that whom you hire from the get-go makes the biggest difference. Statistics show that only about 50% make it from hiring through the first year. Agencies should hire for skill, fire for behavior. We cannot train attitudes, but role-playing in open environment is a great teaching opportunity and more effective than reading a piece of paper.
  • Molly Buffington (CUTR) shared information regarding three new training courses coming up that are of particular interest to the FTSN. The courses are “How to Conduct an Internal Safety Audit for Transit Agencies.” This 2-day course is being developed specifically for Florida’s transit agencies by K&J Consulting and will be held in late spring early summer.
  • Also in development by K&J Consulting is “How to Perform a Bus Collision Investigation – A Short Course.” This 2-day course is tentatively scheduled for April/May period at CUTR. Also scheduled is the “Land Transportation Terrorism and Emergency Planning.” This 2-day interactive workshop on February 9-10, 2016 will address current transit threat analysis practices and information related to terrorism, mass injury, and direct threat events management. View Course Information | 2016 Training Calendar
  • Lisa (CUTR) announced that the 2016 Annual Florida Transit Safety Summit would be held on June 6 at the Embassy Suites in Tampa. She invited the FTSN members to be involved in planning the summit and ask for volunteers. The summit planning committee will be Dave Kelsey (HART), Paul Goyette (LeeTran), Roberta Yegidis (CUTR), Theo Bakomihalis (PSTA), Jim Egbert (MCAT), Ben Pearl (SCAT), Steve Berry (LYNX). Volunteers for the Rural Transit System Outreach Committee are Chris Stephenson and George Colón (Indian River), David Wright (Baker County COA). The FTSN is going to consider having an SMS committee.
  • Colin (JTA) asked if anyone has performance management metrics. JTA are looking for another transit agency for which to share comparisons.
  • A very special “thank you” was extended to Colin and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority for hosting today’s FTSN quarterly meeting!
  • The meeting was adjourned and a tour of the JTA Myrtle Avenue Operations facilities followed.