Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Eleven people were hospitalized after a Chicago bus accident on Thursday night, the Chicago Breaking News Center reported.

The crash involved a Chicago Transit Authority bus and a car; it occurred in the Wicker Park neighborhood shortly before 8 p.m. Chicago police said the crash happened at the six-corner intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues.

Eleven people were transported to area hospitals, according to the Chicago fire department, while another 12 people refused treatment at the scene.

The Sun-Times reported that five ambulances responded to the scene.

Our Chicago injury lawyers continue to report a significant number of accidents involving CTA buses. In April, the family of a man run over by a CTA bus filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. In May, a CTA bus accident injured seven on the Northwest Side and 12 others were injured when a CTA bus crashed into a building.

Bus accidents frequently involve serious injury to passengers. And motorists face as much danger in an accident with a bus as they might in an accident with a semi or other large commercial vehicle.

In 2008, nearly 4,000 Illinois busing accidents occurred, killing six people and injuring 626, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. An additional 2,445 Illinois school bus accidents claimed the lives of six motorists and injured 349.


No fewer than 15 people who were travelling from Lagos to Abuja and Kano in two separate buses died instantly on Sunday evening when their vehicle somersaulted on the Akure-Owo Road by-pass while trying to avoid a heavy truck on top speed.

Also, three passengers of two trucks died on the spot while two others sustained serious injuries when the vehicles in which they were travelling collided on Saturday on the Abeokuta-Ota Expressway.

In the first accident, our correspondent observed that nine people were burnt beyond recognition when one of the buses with registration number KANO XE 513 FGE went up in flames while six others died of injuries they sustained from the second bus marked LAGOS XR 290 EPE.

Miraculously, however, two twin brothers came out unhurt from the accident.

About 12 other survivors of the accident who sustained varying degrees of injury were rushed to the emergency unit of the Ondo State General Hospital for treatment.

Witnesses said the accident occurred at about 3pm on Sunday during a downpour.

They claimed that a truck on top speed caused a confusion for the drivers of the two commercial vehicles and that resulted in a head-on collision.

It was gathered that one of the buses was heading towards Owo town enroute Kano from Lagos while the second one was going to Lagos from Abuja.

The driver of the truck was said to have increased its speed to frustrate the attempt by the bus from Abuja to overtake it. The bus, which was also on top speed, had to face the other one in its opposite direction. The truck escaped but the two buses collided.

The Kano bound bus instantly went up in flames and roasted nine of its passengers while those who survived, writhed in pain as a result of the burns.

The mysterious escape of the twin brothers from the bus that was burnt beyond recognition surprised sympathisers who trooped out to catch a glimpse of them. Both men, however, refused to make any comment.

The Police Public Relations Officer in charge of the state command, Mr. Aremu Adeniran, confirmed the incident.

The state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Kola Ademujimi, who visited the survivors on their hospital beds, promised to take care of their medical bills.

The second accident was said to have occurred in front of Industrial Mineral Product on the expressway at about 6.30am.

It was learnt that the trucks, a blue Isuzu pick-up van with registration number XQ 937 BDG, and a blue Mercedes Benz truck, XA 959 PHC, which were heading towards the Ota end of the expressway, ran into each other before crashing on the road.

While it was difficult to ascertain what actually led to the collision, officials of the Ota Unit of the Federal Road Safety Commission, who arrived on the scene of the accident less than 15 minutes after the crash, attributed it to road traffic violation.

“We got here a few minutes after the accident but the survivors were in critical condition to start answering questions on what happened. We can only say that it was due to road traffic violation; may be over speeding on the part of one of the vehicles,” said an FRSC official, who craved anonymity.

It was gathered that two young men died in one of the trucks while a middle-aged lady died in another vehicle.

Our correspondent further learnt that the dead had been deposited in a public hospital mortuary in the state capital while the injured were rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

The Acting Sector Commander, FRSC, Ogun State, Mr. Segun Akinyemi, confirmed the accident to our correspondent on Monday, saying it was just one of the several crashes in the state during the weekend.

“There are several of them but I can confirm this to you that it happened on Saturday morning. Some people thought it happened on Friday night but it happened very early on Saturday morning and three people died there. It is unclear what was actually responsible as our men got there for rescue mission about 6.45am,” Akinyemi said.

Passerby describes prying open bus door after it was in fatal crash

The two people killed when an RTD bus ran a red light and hit their vehicle died from the impact of the collision, the Denver coroner's office said this morning.

The driver of the Volkswagen 2007 Rabbit, identified as Dustin Peletier, died of closed-head injuries secondary to the collision, said a statement from Michelle Weiss-Samaras of the coroner's office.

The passenger in the Rabbit, identified as Carla Miranda, died of multiple blunt force injuries secondary to the collision, the release said.

Both Peletier and Miranda were 29 and lived in Denver, according to the coroner's office.

Their 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit was traveling west on East Eighth Avenue just before 5 p.m. Saturday when the RTD bus traveling north on Lincoln Street plowed into their car.

The bus then hit a 1996 Ford pickup truck and pushed it into a steel pole in a parking lot.

The driver of the pickup remains hospitalized in serious condition.

At least 11 other people, including the bus driver, were injured in the accident, and four remained in serious condition Sunday. Several were bus passengers.

The bus driver remains hospitalized. Police are not releasing her name.

Denver police spokesman Matt Murray said today that Denver police are writing search warrants - some seeking to obtain video from security cameras from businesses near the intersection.

Murray said that the cameras may have caught the accident on tape. He declined to say if search warrants are being sought for the bus driver's residence.

In addition, he said a commercial transportation expert from the Colorado State Patrol is being brought in to inspect the bus and the accident scene. Murray said the expert will write a report which will be part of the case file presented to the Denver district attorney's office.

Murray said the police department will not release the name of the bus driver until a decision is made by the district attorney's

office whether to file charges against her.

On Saturday, witness Keith Napodano, who was driving behind the bus, said he saw the bus "punch through the red light."

Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson on Monday confirmed witness accounts.

"It appears, based on the evidence and accounts we've received from witnesses, that the bus driver ran a red light," he said.

Eric Hoelter, who lives nearby, was near the intersection when he heard the crash.

When he looked toward the sound of the crash, he saw the bus pushing the pickup, he said during an interview today .

As he ran toward the bus and pickup, he said he saw gasoline pouring from the pickup's ruptured gas tank and saw the driver of the pickup getting out of the vehicle.

He then heard a woman - who he believed to be the bus driver - screaming inside the bus. He also saw more than a dozen passengers trying to get out of the bus.

Hoelter said the bus door was jammed. With the help of another man, he was able to open the door.

He said that the passengers, many obviously hurt, rushed out of the bus.

"One guy was holding his teeth," Hoelter said of one of the injured.

Hoelter said he and the other man who had opened the door yelled at the passengers to get away from the bus because of the possibility of a gasoline explosion.

"I'm yelling at the people. I had gasoline under my feet," said Hoelter, a financial planner for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Hoelter said two men inside the bus, both passengers, carried the driver from the bus.

The bus driver involved in Saturday's accident doesn't work for RTD, but is a longtime employee of Veolia Transportation, a company that contracts to run some RTD buses.

On Jan. 20, an RTD bus driven by Veolia employee Duane Henry ran a red light at Florida Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, resulting in a multi-car pileup sending several patients to area hospitals.

Henry, 61, was ticketed for failing to stop for a "steady red light" said Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or

School bus driver attempted suicide month before crash

Louise Rogers says she cannot remember anything from the time she drove her school bus on to Crowchild Trail until after she was involved in a fatal crash with a parked truck.

Rogers, 42, driving for Third Academy International private school, told Alberta Solicitor General lawyer Nancy McCurdy at a fatality inquiry she was not using a phone or any other electronic device at the time of the crash in the 1500 block of Crowchild Trail S.W. on Oct. 18, 2007.

She had already picked up all 11 students and was on her way to the school when the crash occurred about 8:26 a.m.

However, when asked by provincial court Judge Bruce Fraser how she could be sure she wasn't using the phone or listening to music when she can't remember anything else, a distraught Rogers replied: "I'm sure I'd remember if I was on a cellphone. I don't know. I don't remember what happened."

She had admitted earlier, though, that she had one earphone from an IPod in her hijab, but it was not in her ear.

Rogers, who subsequently pleaded guilty to careless driving and fined $2,000 relating to the crash that killed Kathelynn Occena, 9, and injured her sister Julia, 7, and other children, told Fraser she didn't initially realize what had happened.

"I remember hitting the truck. I remember I didn't know what I hit and kept going and hit the pole," a sobbing Rogers replied when asked what was her first post-crash memory. "After that, I was like, Oh My God, and I asked if the kids were OK. I thought, what did I do?"

She said she did not take any evasive action, because she didn't realize at first what she had struck.

A police investigator earlier testified Rogers told her she may have fallen asleep. When asked by McCurdy, she said it could be true, but she has no recollection.

Rogers told the inquiry she was taking an anti-depressant and sleeping aid in October 2007, and had attempted suicide the previous month.

But she said she had not taken either of the drugs the morning of the fatal collision.

In fact, she said, she was in a very good mood when she went to work that day. She told her lawyer Frank Tosto she had converted to Islam the previous June and had booked a trip to Morocco for December.

Rogers agreed her boss Arlene Wal dn e r, transportation manager at Third Academy, had phoned to wake her up that fateful morning, at her request, and asked her if she was OK to drive. She said she told Waldner, "yes."

When asked if she had also told her boss about her ongoing mental health issues including hospital stays, she said she had not done so when she was first hired, but did later on.

But, she added, she didn't believe she had told her about her attempted suicide by an overdose of medication the month before the crash.

Rogers, who had begun driving with the school in November 2004, also noted she was given very little training or orientation before being hired.

She said Waldner went with her on a dry run so she could learn her route, but she did not take a prescribed defensive driving course or anything else.

Each subsequent school season she drove for the school, Rogers said, there was virtually no training. Drivers were just notified shortly before the school year and told of their routes by letter, she said.

"When I first started, I went through the dry run with Arlene, but no extensive training. The following years, there was not much training except the odd bus meeting."

When asked if she was even aware of a school bus drivers' professional growth plan, she said she hadn't heard of it.

It was not until May 2007, when she asked for stress leave for family issues and stress of having a large route -- 19 children -- that she told Waldner of personal mental health issues.

After seeing a school psychologist, she said she felt better and returned to work until the end of the school year.

However, she added, she was also having difficulties in her marriage in June 2007 and moved out of the family home in July 2007. By the time of the crash, however, she said she was back with her husband and living at home.

However, she said she spent time in the psychiatric ward of a city hospital in September that year after trying to take her own life.

Rogers said she told Waldner about her hospital stay, although "I don't recall if she knew it was exactly a suicide attempt."

Still, she continued to drive for another month without any further training or treatment other than the two medications through her family doctor, she said.

Rogers said she could not remember ever having received any complaints about her driving while at Third Academy, except once for using a cellphone while driving.

Read more:

Transit Bus Tires Recalled by Bridgestone

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Bridgestone America is recalling a little more than 4,000 tires used on intra-city transit buses.

The affected tires are Bridgestone R192 truck and bus tires, size 275/70R22.5, used on intra-city transit buses. The tires feature a sidewall wear indicator, which has a depth that may result in exposed body ply cord.

Over time, Bridgestone says this condition could result in the deterioration of the body ply cord, creating the potential for air loss at the location of the dimple. Air loss in the tire would increase the risk of a crash.

Bridgestone is replacing the tires, free of charge, starting in July. Owners can contact Bridgestone at 1-800-465-1904 .

Metro Transit buses in the Twin Cities are not affected by the recall, as they use Michelin tires.

£7.4m in contracts for Ballymena bus firm

Ballymena bus manufacturer the Wright Group has landed £7.4m in contracts for their innovative new bus models, the company announced on Wednesday.

Ballymena bus manufacturer the Wright Group has landed £7.4m in contracts for their innovative new bus models, the company announced on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Wright Group will supply Mistral Group (UK) plc with 60 of its new StreetLite buses in a contract worth £6 million, while it also won a £1.4 million order to deliver 12 vehicles to Isle of Man Transport.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the new bus was the latest product to be launched as part of the Co Antrim firm's £7 million R&D investment, supported by Invest NI with part funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Article Continues

Ms Foster praised their commitment to investing in innovation, which she said was securing new business.

"As one of Northern Ireland's most innovative manufacturing firms, The Wright Group recognises the value to be gained by continued investment in product development," the minister said.

"This ethos has been of particular importance over the past 12-18 months as the downturn impacted on global sales.

"Today we are not only able to see the latest cutting edge design to result from recent investments in R&D, we are also able to celebrate the success of these projects for The Wright Group with a £7.4 million order.

"Clearly, the Wright Group's investments in innovation are now bearing fruit and will continue to support the future growth of the company."

The Wright Group said its new product serviced both urban and rural routes and offered more seats than any other vehicle in its class, while it also marked a new level in vehicle quality and innovation.

Wright Group managing director Mark Nodder said: "The assistance and support received from Invest NI have been invaluable in accelerating our plans for new product developments and training.

"Today marks an important milestone for us as we unveil the latest innovation in the product range.

"Building on our recent successes in Hong Kong, Singapore and London, this new addition will add another dimension to our product offering and, as has already been proven with the Mistral Group order, it will support the creation of future export sales."

© UTV News

Bus crashes into plane

DODOMA (BNO NEWS) -- Two army pilots were killed on Tuesday when the small plane they were on crashed on a road in the Handeni district of Tanzania, the army and other officials said on Wednesday.

The accident happened around 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday in the Manga region of Nandeni district when a small aircraft belonging to the Tanzania People's Defense Force attempted to make an emergency landing on a local road, striking a passenger bus which was carrying 24 people.

The army said the plane was on a training mission when it encountered 'communication problems' and crashed on the road. The two people on board the aircraft were identified as 41-year-old instructor Major Casbet Liguna and 30-year-old trainee Lt. Andrew Kiganga.

The aircraft struck a passenger bus which was carrying 23 passengers, 19 Dutch citizens and four Kenyans, and a driver.

Dutch tour operator Djoser said one of the Dutch passengers sustained minor injuries when the aircraft struck the bus, causing it to overturn. Herman van der Velde, President of Djoser, said the bus was on its way Dar es Salaam.

(Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info:

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6_29_10_rosendahl.jpgA quick pose before the bus ride. For more pics, visit our Flickr page.

There was a little good news for bus riders in advance of the fare hikes coming on Thursday.

For literally as long as I've known him, Councilman Bill Rosendahl has been hectoring Metro for better rapid bus service along Venice Boulevard. Rosendahl, who lives literally a couple of blocks from the bus stop at Centinela and Venice, argued that if Metro could cut twenty minutes from the bus trip from the Westside to the Downtown, that people would use the service and the bus would be full. Nearly three years after the first time I saw him hector Metro's intergovernmental affairs director Art Henry at a City Council meeting, that Metro rapid line is a reality.

On Sunday, Metro Rapid 733 debuted, replacing the less-than-stellar 333 Line that provided a very limited express trip. The 733 runs from Arizona Boulevard in Santa Monica all the way to Union Station. While it doesn't rival the Wilshire rapid bus experience just yet, Rosendahl was celebrating today not just the new bus line but also his vision of the future of transit on Venice Boulevard.

The Councilman explains his vision for rapid buses from the Westside to Downtown:

My big hope is that if we can scientifically point out between 7 and 9 o'clock. that we can fill up a bus with Santa Monica, Venice and Mar Vista then maybe at Fairfax we can get right back on the 10.

You can watch the full interview with the Councilman, before he got on the 733 for the first time, at our You Tube site.

The service will run every ten minutes during rush hour, and every fifteen minutes the rest of operation. Instead of stopping "every half mile" as the regular Line 33 service. That may not sound like much, but for riders getting on at Centinela, that's the difference between a fifty minute ride to Union Station and an hour and ten minutes.

For the full schedule and list of stops, download the official schedule here.


Wednesday, June 30th 2010, 4:00 AM

NYC Transit driver Gilberto Davila shows injuries from assault on his Brooklyn bus Monday.
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NYC Transit driver Gilberto Davila shows injuries from assault on his Brooklyn bus Monday.

The Brooklyn bus driver pummeled by an irate rider Monday morning feared for his life while being battered - and worried about his other passengers.

After being punched in the face, NYC Transit driver Gilberto Davila said he grabbed his burly attacker by the waist as a handful of B6 passengers looked on in horror.

"I'm just thinking of survival and keeping him away from the passengers," Davila, 44, told the Daily News, recalling the onboard combat that lasted about three minutes.

"I'm holding him towards the front of the bus and he's pummeling away, swinging away."

"My life was in jeopardy," Davila continued, adding he was concerned the man might have a weapon.

Davila on Tuesday was nursing a formidable shiner, scrapes to his face, bumps on his head and pain in the neck. Initially, his left eye was swollen shut, he said.

Police charged Jason Ferreira with felony assault and several misdemeanors in the attack that came on the first weekday of sweeping cuts to bus and subway service.

Also on Monday, about 400 bus drivers, mechanics and cleaners were laid off.

Shortly after boarding in Bensonhurst, Ferreira, 22, asked if the bus had arrived at Flatbush Ave., according to Davila.

The driver chuckled and told the man they had only traveled two blocks, and Flatbush Ave. was about 20 down the road.

"That's why you g--damn bus drivers always get beat up," Ferreira exploded, according to Davila.

Ferreira didn't return a telephone call seeking comment.

For about 20 blocks, Ferreira blasted Davila with insults and challenges, Davila said.

"If it weren't for the cameras, I would kick your a--," Ferreira said, according to Davila, apparently suspecting video cameras were recording inside the bus.

The verbal attack turned physical when Davila pulled the bus to the side of the road, Davila said.

Both men are taller than 6 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds.

"I stood up and I got clocked in the face," Davila said. "He hit me and we got tangled. I wanted to get him off the bus, but I couldn't."

"I was born in Brooklyn and I can handle myself, but he's a strong young man," Davila continued. "He tossed me off the bus like I was a feather."

4 passengers injured when city bus crashes into parked cars

Four passengers were injured when a bus driver crashed into parked cars on the Alameda early Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the Maryland Transit Administration said.

The bus hit one parked car on The Alameda near 33rd Street at 2:42 a.m. that triggered a domino effect, said spokesman Terry Owens. Eight parked cars were damaged as a result, he said.

Four passengers were taken to Union Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Owens said.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bus driver takes pounding in Brooklyn; New Yorkers fume as cuts hit home Read more:

An irate bus rider went berserk and punched a driver in the face as the MTA's dreaded doomsday cuts took full effect - bewildering straphangers citywide.

Jason Ferreira, 22, of Brooklyn was ordered off a B6 bus after mouthing off to driver Gilberto Davila that the trip was taking too long.

Instead, Ferreira, who a police source said is 6-feet-2 and 205 pounds, pummeled the driver as he drove on Bay Parkway at 4:50a.m., police said.

The driver, treated at Maimonides Medical Center and released, suffered cuts, bruises and swelling.

Ferreira, who was charged with felony assault and misdemeanor menacing and harassment, was released last night on $500 bail. He has six previous arrests, police said. Four are sealed and two are for allegedly attempting to beat the subway fare.

"He's not a violent person," Ferreira's grandmother, who declined to give her name, told the Daily News. "He's always helpful to us." She said he works at a gym and is the father of a 1-year-old girl.

Although Ferreira may have resorted to violence, most straphangers settled for grumbling over the massive changes to city subway and bus service.

City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx) said riders didn't know if they were coming or going in Co-op City because route signs remained at bus stops while service didn't.

"There wasn't enough outreach done," Vacca charged. "There wasn't enough notice."

Riders who used to rely on the M train to get to lower Manhattan from Brooklyn were upset the train now travels uptown.

"It makes me really angry," said Norma Roberts, 35, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who used to take the M to her waitress job. "It will take me longer to go home from work, which means that I might be late to pick up my kids from school."

On Staten Island, riders complained that reduced bus service left still-operating lines overcrowded. "When you're tired and coming home from work, you want a seat, but you can't get one," said John Russo, 47, who rode the X17.

Private transport operators - of uncertain legality - jumped into the void left by service cuts in many parts of the city.

Mariella Pallazo took a commuter van from eastern Queens to midtown after losing the X51 bus. It charged the same price as the bus and made fewer stops.

"I actually got into the city much quicker," Pallazo said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of laid-off Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers gathered at a transit facility in Bensonhurst to turn in their employee ID cards.

"I took this job for the better pay," Kayonne Coote, 29, of Jamaica, Queens, said tearfully. "Just when I thought everything was going right, they took it away."

Coote said she got only a week's notice she was losing her job.

John Samuelsen and other union leaders mingled with the crowd, attempting to offer comfort and dispel rumors.

"We will fight tooth and nail until everyone is back in their jobs," he said.

With Rocco Parascandola, Trevor Kapp, Sandra Ifraimova and Ryan Lavis

Long-running QM22 route saved by private bus company - and one teenage rider

The long-running QM22 bus route to Manhattan has been saved by a private bus company - thanks to the efforts of one teenage rider.

Many straphangers have been taking the express bus from Jackson Heights, Queens, for more than 20 years. But it was 16-year-old Ali Fadil of Little Neck, Queens, who found a way to save the line, one of dozens discontinued by the MTA on Sunday.

"I've been taking this route off and on for the last 10 years, since I was very little," said Ali, who just completed his junior year at the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City, Queens. "This whole situation really got me going. I felt like it would be a good opportunity for me to serve the community."

After writing to local and state legislators with no success, he turned to Joel Azumah, the owner of a private bus company featured in the Daily News yesterday.

His company, TransportAzumah, took over four city bus lines axed over the weekend.

The bootleg QM22 picked up 26 people at its first stop in Jackson Heights at 7:20 a.m. yesterday. Ali guided the driver, making sure no one on the old route was left behind.

"Stopping a bus like this would have been like breaking up family," said Mary Apelian, who takes the QM22 to her job at a public relations firm in Times Square. "Ali, this young man, did this for us. He kept us all together."

The city Transportation Department sent Azumah a cease-and-desist letter Friday, saying he's not authorized to pick up passengers off the street.

Azumah ignored the warning, arguing that he is operating a private charter bus and is exempt from city regulations. He requires riders to join his Apple Core transportation club.


Amalgamated Transit Union, Division 757,
Portland, OR

March 24, 2010

Mr. Don Allison
Manager, TriMet Rail Operations
4012 SE 17th
Portland, OR 97202

Re:Evidence Uncovered at Step 3 Hearing on Paul Cooper Termination

Dear Mr. Allison,

I am taking the unusual step of appealing directly to you over the above matter. I do so because I believe that the evidence that was presented at the Step 3 hearing establishes beyond any doubt that the incident regarding the child on the platform was the result of equipment failure and not Mr. Cooper's deliberate actions. For example, some of the evidence that establishes Mr. Cooper's innocence includes:

  1. TriMet video taped me performing a test on the same type of car. To refresh your memory, my test consisted of the following:
    I stood at the Passenger PEI Unit 1 and pushed the passenger emergency button in 3 times in rapid succession the way a frantic passenger might punch the button. The operator answered after only the last time. He said he only heard the last one - which is exactly what Mr. Cooper always claimed.
    I performed the same test a second time. Again, the operator said it only sounded once. This established there is no stacking of calls. Instead, the first time I pushed the button, it canceled the prior call. I confirmed with the operator that is how the system works. Joe Ruffin, a long time light rail mechanic was with me, and he confirmed all of the above.
  2. We requested a download of the test I made. That test established that the download was in error. It shows I performed the test 3 times when I only performed it two times. Exhibit 1
  3. The test also established that Mr. Cooper did not cancel the calls. This is seen by the download of car 407 which shows that unit 4 both initiated and dropped the call.Exhibit 2. This can be concluded by the Unit 4 designation in each dropped call. That sequence tracks exactly what Joe Ruffin and I witnessed and what operators tell us. If the passenger repeatedly pushed the button, he repeatedly cancelled his own call. You will note that the passenger claimed he had pushed the button at least ten times. Exhibit 3
  4. Supervisor Jim Fowler met Mr. Coopers' train within a few hours of the incident. He found that the intercom system failed to work properly. His report states, "Even though the TOD screen showed the Intercom volume to be in the mid-range, you could still not hear the call inside the cab." Exhibit 4
  5. We will be able to call a number of rail operators who will say they commonly carry duct tape to make emergency repairs and sign changes. The night of this incident, maintenance personnel discovered that the passenger intercom system and passenger buzzer alert on train 407 had both been disabled. At 4:53 a.m. the maintenance crew found that both the passenger emergency botton speaker and the passenger alert buzzer in train 407 had been disabled by a combination of paper towels and tape. Exhibit 5
  6. The Type 4 train cars are new and have had multiple problems with the passenger communication systems. Train 407 had 3 repairs on its communication system between August 20th and November 16th when this incident occurred. Exhibit 6
  7. Mr. Cooper was operating from the cab in train 407. The other train attached to 407 was 408. TriMet provided a readout of all communication system repairs on all Type 4s. It is very clear that train 407 and train 408 were both the "lemons" of the fleet when it came to communications.
  8. If you look at the repair dates, you will note that TriMet has more than one defect report for the same defect. I counted up just the number of repair events. Thus,if there is one date but three reports, I counted only 1 report. Specifically the document shows that the following trains needed the following number of repairs to their communications system during the same time period:
    1 repairs - 401, 402, 403, 418, 419, 420-421
    2 repairs - 412,413, 417
    3 repairs - 405, 411
    4 repairs - 415, 416
    In contrast, compare that to the communications repairs made to the two cars that Mr. Cooper was operating the day of the incident:
    17 repairs - 407
    28 repairs - 408
    As you know, when these two "lemons" were coupled together, they became one intercom system. It is reasonable to think that any problems would also be shared. What you have heard and what Supervisor Fowler would testify to is that despite 407 being the "active" cab, the passenger alert system was sounding in cab 408 when he did his inspection shortly after the incident.Exhibit 7
    It is clear these two "lemons" were disasters waiting to happen. It was Mr. Cooper's misfortune to be the one who was operating them when disaster occurred.
  9. TriMet's reaction to this incident was driven by the media's attention to it. I say that because there have been numerous incidents where trains have left the platforms and separated families or where it is alleged there was an emergency situation and the operator failed to respond to the call button - one the day before the incident involving Mr. Cooper. It is my understanding that none of the operators involved in these other incidents were disciplined (nor should they have been given the fallibility of the system.) Exhibit 8
  10. You provided some policies regarding the Passenger intercom system ("SPOs") First, these SPOs had not been used to train these operators nor were they disseminated to operators. That said, Mr. Cooper could not be found to have violated these policies even had he seen them. Exhibit 9
  11. I object to the cab consol photo that TriMet showed at the hearing. The TOD display screen was not functional in the cab on the day of the incident. This is clear from the fact that it did not show that the video camera in train 407 did not work. That failure was not displayed on the TOD display screen nor does that failure appear on the download. Like everything else on the Type 4s, the TOD fails. Therefore the photos are misleading. Exhibit 10
In light of the overwhelming and unrebutted evidence presented at the Step 3 hearing, we believe that TriMet should withdraw the termination of Paul Cooper. I look forward to receiving your response in the near future.

Very truly yours,

Sam Schwarz
Vice President - Assistant Business Representative

Monday, June 28, 2010

INL bus drivers reject contract offer

A spokesperson for the INL has just informed Eyewitness News that the INL Bus Drivers Union voted to reject a new contract offer late Sunday night.

The current contract expires at midnight Monday night.

INL says they are not expecting any interruption in service.

If there is a shortage of drivers, it will be updated on the INL website. (

The INL reminds employees that they are ultimately responsible for getting themselves to work

A pair of 16-year-old girls went on a 12-mile joyride in a double-decker bus, causing £30,000 worth of damage, it has been reported.

One of the girls was filmed driving the bus along the A345 in Wiltshire by a 21-year-old man who joined them on their trail of destruction.

The girl is seen driving the bus erratically before she turns into a residential street in Amesbury and hits cars parked on the side of the road.

The video was posted on YouTube and has so far attracted nearly 12,000 hits.

The three joyriders were arrested at the scene by police on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking in the early hours of Friday, June 18, according to the Mail Online.

They have since been released on bail.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eight killed in Uttar Pradesh accident

Eight people were killed and over a dozen seriously injured when a bus collided with a maxi-cab on the National Highway-24 in Ghaziabad district Saturday, police said.

The victims were returning after a pilgrimage at the Ganga river in Garh Mukteswar when the accident occurred, police added.

The maxi-cab collided with a Uttar Pradesh Roadways bus coming from the wrong side near the central Ganga canal bridge on NH-24 at around 3.30 p.m.

Eight people died on the spot while nearly a dozen sustained serious injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital.

Superintendent of Police M.M. Begh said: "Most of the injured were discharged after rendering first aid. One person was critical and has been referred to the Meerut Medical College."

Only four of those killed have been identified so far, police said.

The deceased were identified as Sarojwati, 55, Dayawati, 34, Premwati, 35, and Harendra Singh, 42.

Angry protestors blocked the highway for about an hour after the accident.

"We have seized the bus. The driver managed to flee the spot after the accident. We are looking out for him. He will be arrested," Begh said.

Last updated on Jun 26th, 2010 at 22:3

Bengal bus operators to demand fare hike

Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) West Bengal bus operators Sunday decided to demand a hike in fares to cope with the recent increase in fuel prices.

“We will meet the state transport minister and place our demand for increasing the bus fares so that we can cope with the increased expenditure,” Sadhan Das of Joint Council of Bus Syndicate said after a meeting.

The central government Friday agreed to the decontrol of price of petrol, which meant an increase of at least Rs.3.50 per litre in most metro cities. It also hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.

“The state government has to either slash taxes on oil prices or increase the bus fare. Otherwise, it is impossible for us to ply buses. The monthly expenditure on buses has increased to a large extent,” said Trinamool Congress legislator and Bengal Bus Syndicate president Swarnakamal Saha.

Trinamool Congress legislator and president of the Progressive Taximen’s Union Madan Mitro said: “We will have a meeting with our executive council and then we will decide our next step.”

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Bus driving finals are held

GRAND LEDGE - Not everyone can drive a 35,000 pound, 40-foot-long vehicle designed to carry 71 passengers and have the wheels go within one inch of where they are supposed to go.

But those who can take a lot of pride in their skills.

Thousands of school bus drivers in Michigan do that, along with many other tasks, every day. And they do it while carrying 70 or so rowdy students and maintaining order at the same time.

The top 38 school bus drivers in Michigan assembled at Grand Ledge Hayes Middle School in Delta Township on Tuesday, June 22 to show off their skills at the 33rd annual state school bus driving championship.

The top drivers, winners of nine regional meets, competed in written and performance tests designed to identify the best school bus driver in Michigan.

"It is nice to bring the best of the best to Lansing and honor them as individuals," said Karen Losch, Executive Director of the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation.

"We like to give them a chance to show off their skills," Drivers were measured on their ability to perform a number of tests of their skills, including driving within one inch of a straight line without crossing it, making a right or left turn and coming within three inches of, but not hitting, a marker on the inside of the turn while not forgetting to signal properly or bringing a bus to a stop within three inches of a line. Fifty volunteer judges watched as the drivers went through the various tests, counting and measuring and assessing penalty points for the inches by which they missed the marks.

One of the judges, former bus driver Dick Sheren of Grand Ledge, said he enjoyed all of the time he spent on the job, and still misses it.

"I drove bus for 18 years. I wish I could have for 35 years," he said.

The winner, a driver from Grandville, will go to the national championships in St. Louis in July.

Losch said Dean Transportation will sponsor his trip to compete for the national title.

Cops: Bus driver tried to rape passenger

A Suffolk County bus driver tried to rape a lone passenger as she rode the bus Saturday afternoon, state police said.

A woman was riding the 8A Suffolk County Transit bus at about 2:50 p.m. when the bus driver, Richard T. Downes, 43, of Middle Island, suddenly pulled the bus over on County Road 51 near the Riverhead County Center, police said.

Police said that Downes started talking...

23 killed as bus rams into truck on Patna-Gaya road

PATNA: In the worst-ever road mishap in recent times in Bihar, at least 23 passengers were killed and several others injured when a Gaya-bound private bus rammed into a truck coming from the opposite direction.

The tragic accident took place near Chanaki village under the Dhanarua block, 35 km from Patna, around 7.30 on Saturday morning. The vehicles were negotiating a serpentine turn and the drivers could not sight vehicles coming from opposite direction. Yet, the two drivers did not slow down the vehicles.

So strong was the collision that the fronts of the two vehicles were reduced to a wreckage of mangled iron and scraps strewn all around along with flesh and blood.

The bus was overloaded with few of its 75-odd passengers squatting even on its rooftop. Even though it was packed beyond capacity, the bus conductor was allowing in passengers at different points after the vehicle started from Patna, survivors said and added the bus turned turtle following the accident. The truck was laden with packed cartons of clothes and other materials.

Local villagers soon assembled at the site and tried to rescue the moaning passengers. Soon policemen also came. Vehicles passing by were stopped and the injured rushed to hospitals by them. While 17 bodies were extricated from the bus by breaking the windows, six passengers died on the way to the PMCH. The deceased included six women and children and the two drivers.

At least 30 grievously injured persons were admitted to PMCH, where the condition of at least ten persons was stated to be critical. Those who sustained minor injuries were taken to the health sub-centres at Dhanarua and Masaurhi.

Nokhu Chowdhary and wife Saraswati Devi had to take their ailing one-year-old child to a doctor in Jehanabad. The trio boarded the crowded bus at Dhanarua, and died in the mishap only 3 km away. Chowdhary’s relatives along with other villagers blocked the Patna-Gaya highway near Dhanarua. The agitators gheraoed DM Jeetendra Kumar Sinha when he reached the spot. Unhappy over the meagre government compensation of Rs 50,000 to the kin of each deceased, they were demanding Rs 5 lakh each. Later, they reduced their demand to Rs one lakh.

Vidyanand Paswan of Dhanarua, who led the blockade, said, "We lifted the blockade after getting a positive assurance from the officials present at the site."

The compensation of Rs 50,000 was earlier announced by chief minister Nitish Kumar, who also directed the officials concerned to ensure free treatment of all the injured passengers.


People often will say something akin to “I might get hit by a bus tomorrow,” when referring to the fragility of life and the unknown moment when death may strike. For a number of Denver area families, that saying recently became all too much of a reality.

In April 2010, at least four people were killed and many more injured in accidents involving Regional Transportation District (RTD) buses.

Fatalities included:

  • A 42-year old man on a bicycle who was struck by an RTD bus as it turned left into an intersection.
  • A man and woman, 28 and 29 years old, who were hit by an RTD bus when it ran a red light. A dozen other people were also injured in this accident.
  • A 78-year old man who was hit by an RTD bus and left in the gutter. He later died from his injuries. The driver was unaware he had hit anyone and continued driving for at least two more miles.

Charges in the cases include careless driving resulting in death, a class one misdemeanor traffic offense.

Concerned, the bus company has mandated that all drivers, including private contractors, are to take a refresher training course.

That is good, but is that enough? The families of the victims additionally may be able to file for wrongful death lawsuits if the drivers were found to have been reckless, careless, negligent, or if inadequate supervision contributed to the deaths. Negligent hiring may even be a consideration. For instance, the bus driver who hit and killed the bicyclist had prior convictions for driving while impaired and for sidesweeping another bicyclist.

In Colorado, an employer will be found liable for negligent hiring if it: