For all to see

Read this.

(click for full-size version)

While the rest of the local (and not-so-local) media has been falling over themselves to bring you the latest in CryingBabyGate

Did this really need multiple stories?

…where was any media coverage of Joel preventing a fatality? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that this is at least getting internal recognition at TriMet. Donna said it, I’ve said it (more than once), and now Joel, and who knows how many other operators that I just don’t have links for – TriMet bus and rail operators really are saving lives every. single. day by compensating for the poor attention of / decisions made by the public around the buses and trains. This is not news to any operator, but it’s nice that this was distributed to other TriMet employees who don’t see it the same way since they’re not out in the field.

But Joel is right – if an operator does something stupid, there’s no end to the media coverage of it, and no official support from TriMet in the media for the rest of the operators who do their jobs, and do them well. The fact that operators prevent hundreds of horrific accidents every day, well, I guess that doesn’t sell as many newspapers as “look at the dumb thing this bus driver did!” TriMet bus ridership averages around 61 million boarding rides per year, the overwhelming majority of which DON’T make the news. Then one woman in August and another in September had negative interactions with bus operators when their small children were being fussy, and now somehow it’s fair that the public is viewing all bus drivers as babyhaters?

Anyway, then there is Jim’s quote at the end – “This story exemplifies how our operators put safety first every day. I wish we could put it out there for all to see.”

I wish we could put it out there for all to see.

I wish we could put it out there for all to see.




Gee, if only we had some sort of communications director at TriMet, perhaps someone with contacts in local media agencies, who could take on this role of putting it out there for all to see since it’s true, these sort of preventative incidents happen at a much higher rate than any corresponding media coverage. Too bad we don’t have-oh wait.

(and if Art Beardsley’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the operator who was able to stop his train in time at Willow Creek when a woman fainted into the right of way last spring, probably the last time an operator got recognition for doing something right)


5 responses to “For all to see

  1. Everyone love a “bad bus driver” story.
    They don’t care about a good bus driver story.
    Who knows, its freaking Amerika for crying out loud, all of our values are upside down.
    Our heroes are useless celebrities, and enemies are faceless “terrorists”, what do you expect from this culture?
    The thing about the baby bus, it captured the interest of the moms of the world, who all put themselves in that moms shoes.
    Hence worldwide attention.

  2. How are incidents like this one “bubbled up” to Mary Fetsch? The Art Beardsley story got lots of attention because Mary sent out video of the incident — it was very compelling. If there’s video of the September 3 close call, it would almost certainly get covered.

    • Specifically? I don’t know, I don’t work in communications so I don’t know the details of how the process works.

      But the question I have is: why was this released only internally with TriMet paychecks? Why wasn’t this put out as a press release, especially in light of how operators are being depicted in the media now? It just isn’t sitting right with me that Joel says “You don’t hear those stories” and Jim says “I wish we could put it out there for all to see” and whoever wrote this piece says “positive stories circulate within workgroups but never make it to a larger internal audience (let alone the media)” which all sounds as if we have no means of putting a good word out to the public – but we do! Heck, this one could even go with a bonus public safety message, since people are so wrapped up in texting and Angry Birds and everything else that they’re not checking for trains before stepping into the right of way.

  3. Hi. I would have been all over this story if someone at TriMet, including operators, or anyone else had got in touch with me about it. Unfortunately, this is the first I’m hearing of it. I can’t remember the last time TriMet pitched me a positive story about the agency. But I’ve written them all the same (do recall the column I wrote saluting the operator who saved my wife and daughter’s life last year?). Even with the crying kid stories, I was the only local reporter to attempt to bring in the opinions of operators and riders who agreed with the driver’s actions.
    My email is always open.
    Joseph Rose
    The Oregonian

    • Well, I guess, now you know?

      I appreciate the contact information and invitation. I think part of the reason you don’t hear much from operators is that technically only the Director of Communications can issue official press releases, and there are limits to what people who are not official spokespersons from TriMet can say to the media (as I’m sure you’ve encountered before).

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