2012-13 Snow & Ice – Operator Instructions
Service Emergency Information Line: 503-962-6222 Pre-recorded message announcing snow & ice events
Be safe and be prepared at the Garage
Arrive early, sign-in and get your pouch. Check for snow routes and any additional info.
If you are on a snow route, use the pink Snow Route Map; otherwise use your regular route.
Be extremely cautious when walking and driving in the yard. Be safe, go slow and watch for others. Use handrails when boarding buses and watch for slippery steps. Use ice trekkers for added traction.
Bring cold weather gear, plenty of food & water and something to read in case you are stuck for a while.
Safety is the most important part of customer service
Adjust to the conditions and drive slower, increase your following distance as tire traction on snow or ice is minimal. Use one control at a time. Accelerate, brake and turn slowly and gently.
Decelerate prior to turns and accelerate out of turns.
Be ready to compensate for the actions of others. Even if you maintain control, others may not.
Children often have little idea of what is dangerous to them and to you.
On the Road –Keep buses evenly spaced along your route. This reduces customer waits.
Drive safely. Slow down for the conditions. Make trips, not the schedule. Take fifteen (15) minute breaks.
No express or limited service – stop for all waiting passengers, even on snow routes & dead heads.
Supervisors may change your direction or route to maintain service levels.
Road reliefs: Be prepared and patient. Your bus may be late and/or heading in the other direction. Make a reasonable effort to verify your relief operator is there before proceeding. Call Bus Rescue at your garage. (see below)
Communications – Keep your calls to an absolute minimum. (Once per event)
Do not use your cell phone to call Dispatch unless your radio is not working.
PULL OVER. Avoid talking on the handset as much as possible.
(SOP B812 Controlling Operator Driving Distractions)
Stuck? (Not an immediate emergency) send: CAD: 81 Stuck; BDS: Send OutMSG 14=Stuck Snow/Ice
Overworked? CAD: 82 Extended Stuck; BDS: Menu <3> Delay & <3> “HOLD Meet/Transfer” sends a message to the garage Operator Support Desk Coordinator (Bus Rescue) that the Operator is
Chains Loose? Send: CAD: 83 Chains-Rolling; BDS: OutMSG-15 Chains-Rolling
Chains Broken or Slapping? CAD: 84 Chains-Tied Up; BDS: Send OutMSG-16 Chains-Tied up
Emergencies? CAD or BDS: Use Emerg Key for all police, fire or medical emergencies.
Non-Injury Accidents? – CAD: Use PRTT; BDS: Use PRTT-2
Routine calls? CAD: Use Messages; BDS: Use OUTMessages. Do not use RTT.
Routine requests for help are logged through Dispatch and sent to the Operator Support Desk Coordinator (sometimes referred to as “Bus Rescue Team” or “Snow Desk”) at your garage. If you do not receive a return call/message, or help does not arrive within an hour, contact them directly at your garage:
Center: 503-962-7663 Powell: 503-962-7664 Merlo: 503-962-7665
Chains – Keep your speed with chains to 25 MPH or less (Always!).
Gentle throttle-Use a light foot on the throttle. Avoid spinning the wheels to prevent broken cross-links.
Curbs break chains so keep chained wheels at least 12 inches away from curbs.
Inspect chains frequently and tie down loose or broken cross-links. Problems? CAD: 83 Chains-Rolling; BDS:
Stop if the chains are slapping against the bus and tie them down. If you cannot, remained stopped and send CAD: 84 Chains-Tied Up; BDS: Send OutMSG-16 Chains-Tied up. A Bus Rescue Team will be sent.
Drop Down Chains – on 2100 & 3000 series buses
Regular chains will not be installed on these buses.
Chains should not touch the ground when stored. If they are, inspect and report to Pull-out Repair Send CAD: 83 Chains-Rolling; BDS: OutMSG-15 Chains-Rolling if relieving on the road.
Chains may be used to increase traction when accelerating or decelerating in icy or snowy areas.
Only activate or deactivate chains between 5-25 mph. Maximum speed 25 mph. Leave chains activated when slowing or stopping in icy areas to allow traction when starting up. Do not shut off until rolling at least 5 mph.
DANGER: Never reach under the bus and attempt to untangle drop down chains. If chains fail to stow properly, tie up the bus and contact Dispatch using CAD: 84 Chains-Tied Up; BDS: Send OutMSG-16
Working with Chain Crews:
Chain crews will be assigned to strategic locations, usually the Mall and busier transit centers.
Closely follow instructions when working with a chain crew and move the bus only when directed.
Drive on and off the blocks slowly; Do not spin the wheels.
Secure your bus and exit the seat while chain crews are positioning the blocks and/or attaching chains.
Check all clearances carefully and know the location of all chain crewmembers before moving.
Driving on Ice and Snow - Scan far ahead to spot problems early
Following Distance: Increase (double or triple) your follow distance as need for the conditions.
Stopping Distance: Increase to avoid being pushed into the vehicle ahead of you.
Avoid deep snow: Lighter vehicles may pass over snow that would trap your heavy bus.
Stay away from curbs. When possible, stay on the crown of the road or in existing ruts.
Do not stop on hills. Stop at the top or bottom of the hill and wait for your customers.
Brake early. Brake gradually and spread your braking over long distances. Do not lock up the wheels.
Locked wheels reduce your ability to both brake and steer.
Older buses use threshold or squeeze braking. Apply the brakes firmly but short of wheel lock up. If the wheels do lock up, let up on the brakes and then reapply and let up as needed. Monitor your air pressure.
Newer buses with ABS brakes. Use steady, firm brake pressure and steer as needed. Do not pump ABS brakes.
Steering: Do not turn and accelerate, or turn and brake at the same time.
Idle around corners: Maximize grip of all tires on the road to turn the bus.
Accelerating: Ease into the throttle and avoid spinning the wheels. Do not accelerate into turns.
Skids: If you skid, ease off the accelerator. Brake gently and look in the direction you want to go. If the rear of bus comes around right – steer right. If the rear of bus comes around left –steer left. Skids are the result of too much speed, so slow down – adjust to the conditions.
Transmission: If the engine pushes you while braking, going downhill or when stopped (sideslip), , shift to neutral to avoid sideslip. This will help maintain steering control. Note: This can be done only at low speeds -most newer buses will not shift to neutral above 3-5 mph.
ATC Flashing (Automatic Traction Control Disabled): ATC on low floor buses limits drive wheel spin. If light is flashing, push and release the side panel switch to return to normal mode.
When temperatures drop: Use caution on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas-watch for freezing danger.
Watch for fallen or low hanging tree limbs and wires.
Leaves can become as slick as ice, especially when bunched along curbs. Slow down and brake early.
Standing Water: Slow down before you reach standing water. Excessive speed and standing water cause “hydroplaning". (When tire treads cannot channel water out from under tires.) Do NOT brake! Instead, ease up on the accelerator and reduce speed until your tires again make contact with the road.
Deep-water: Water that that enters the doorway is too deep to safely drive through and can cause brake fade. Test brakes after passing through deep-water. Expect much longer stopping distances. If necessary, drive for a short distance with your right foot on both the brake and accelerator to dry out the brakes.
Always be alert and prepared to take defensive action. Rapid movements lead to skids and loss of control.
Take nothing for granted – Go slow and be safe!
Stay away from the curb at service stops if there is a build-up of ice, snow or slush. Let your customers come out to the bus. Always keep your chains at least 12” away from the curb.
Be alert to the movements of pedestrians. Be ready to warn those who step off the curb before your bus stops moving. Tap the horn to warn them if you begin to slide. Do not open the door prior to stopping.
This will allow you to release the brake if the bus should begin to slide while stopping.
Hills: Don’t make service stops on hills. You may get stuck, or worse yet, slide backward down the hill. Stop at the top or bottom of the hill and let your customers walk to the bus.
Most are grateful to see you.
Be flexible with fares.
Be professional, YOU are TriMet.
Refer your customers to TriMet‘s website (http://TriMet.org/snow) or to TV and radio Public Service Announcements (PSA s) for additional information.
TransitTracker info: Next arrivals via Cell phone – Dial 503-238-7433, dial 1 and enter the stop ID #. Advise customers that “Transit Tracker” accuracy can be affected by weather.
Reroute information – Dial 503-238-7433, dial 2 and enter the <route number> + <#>
Fares: Collecting fares is important, but be flexible. View this as an opportunity to win new customers. Do not deny boarding during snow and ice unless security is an issue.
Calling stops, as always, is important, especially when windows may be dirty, frozen or fogged. If ASA malfunctions, make all announcements using PA.
No express or limited service – stop for all waiting passengers, even on snow routes. Additionally, buses are in service when leaving or returning to the garage. Pick up all intending passengers and inform them of your route and destination. Display the appropriate garage sign.
Do not abandon your vehicle with or without customers aboard
Make trips, not the schedule
Take a fifteen (15) minute break at the end of each trip.
Avoid passing up customers, even at non-posted stops.
Keep your bus engine running to prevent brake lines from freezing.
Questions? Call the Training Dept at (503) 962-6418
or email Allen Morgan: MorganA@TriMet.org, Dion Graham, Sr. GrahamD@TriMet.org