320 Nova LFS pulled off the line - STCUM

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Vincent Charron

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Jan 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/5/99
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January 5, 1999
Pulled buses were lemons: drivers' union
MONTREAL (CP) -- Hundreds of public transport buses were pulled off the road
for safety inspections Tuesday, causing lengthy waits in the frigid weather.
The city's transit commission sidelined its 360 low-floor,
wheelchair-friendly buses after at least two drivers complained the buses
accelerated when they applied the brakes.
The problems came to light after one veteran driver refused to operate the
buses last Thursday after two of the vehicles unexpectedly accelerated on
him.
Ron Fitzsimmons said he feared for his life and the safety of his
passengers after his vehicle almost slammed into three parked cars.
Montreal bus drivers have complained the vehicles were lemons since their
introduction two years ago, said Serge Lavoie, president of the bus drivers'
union.
"We discover a new problem almost every week," he said. "It makes no
sense."
The new buses, built by NovaBus Corp. of St-Eustache, Que., have been
modified several times already, he added.
Lavoie said the drivers preferred the old NovaBus Classic model, which has
been discontinued.
"The drivers hate the (new) NovaBus," he said.
But Lavoie said part of the problem is the city feels obligated to buy from
NovaBus because the provincial government pays half of the price tag if
Montreal purchases Quebec-made buses. NovaBus is the only Quebec bus
manufacturer.
"We're stuck with those vehicles," he added.
The buses have been faulted for problems with the windshield wipers,
heating, noise, mirrors, brakes and ventilation.
Lavoie also said the low-floor buses are impractical because they can only
take one wheelchair at a time and only in summer.
The city should improve its handicapped shuttle bus service instead of
making normal buses wheelchair accessible, he said.
Commuters like Bell Canada employee Lyne Hamel were caught off guard by the
shortage of buses during the Tuesday morning rush hour. The city's transit
corporation didn't replace the low-floor buses and that meant at least 10
routes were cancelled, including one Hamel normally takes directly to work.
Instead Hamel had to ride two subway lines and a bus to get to her job.
In the afternoon Hamel stood waiting for her bus because she didn't realize
it was still not operating.
"We can't do anything about it," she said.
"I'll take the metro (subway) if the bus doesn't come soon. It's too cold!"
The city tried to reduce the impact on commuters by cutting less popular
routes and ones that run near subway lines.
The buses, which represent 20 per cent of the city's fleet, are off the
road for several days for inspections said Serge Savard, spokesman for the
transit commission.
NovaBus is one of the largest manufacturers of public transit buses in
North America.
The company has supplied low-floor buses to several cities in Quebec and
Ontario, including Ottawa and Windsor, and has received no complaints, said
company spokesman Jean-Francois LeBrun.
It currently has one wheelchair-friendly bus in use on a trial basis in
Toronto.

Zack

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Jan 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/5/99
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What good is the accessablility features going to do if the bus cant stop?
there is a fine line i beilieve in Accessable service and Non Accessable. I
beilieve that a weelchair bus should always be ready for service if someone
needs it, but i also beilieve that atleast here in N. America there are a
lot of roads without sidewalks so ramps are fairly useless, unless the
driver stops gets out and pushed the wheelchair onboard, but also what if
they tip? so basecally why put a full time wheelchair bus on a route that
dosent have the infrastructure to support it?

FishBowls 4 ever!


Access Systems

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Jan 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/6/99
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In misc.transport.urban-transit Vincent Charron <ch...@istar.ca> wrote:
: The city's transit commission sidelined its 360 low-floor,

: wheelchair-friendly buses after at least two drivers complained the buses
: accelerated when they applied the brakes.

: The buses have been faulted for problems with the windshield wipers,


: heating, noise, mirrors, brakes and ventilation.

but not the access features

: Lavoie also said the low-floor buses are impractical because they can only


: take one wheelchair at a time and only in summer.

??????? why only in the summer, don't people with disabilities come out in
the winter in Montreal

: The city should improve its handicapped shuttle bus service instead of


: making normal buses wheelchair accessible, he said.

that same old line, over and over. the numbers and the $$ all have been
proven time and time again to be in favor of full access on mainline buses

the short answer. $34 per trip on paratransit
$ 3.70 per trip on mainline buses

: Commuters like Bell Canada employee Lyne Hamel were caught off guard by the


: shortage of buses during the Tuesday morning rush hour. The city's transit

and what did any Wheelchair users dependent on the service do?????

: It currently has one wheelchair-friendly bus in use on a trial basis in

"wheelchair-friendly" ??? who in the heck dreams up these cutesy phrases.
who cares if the bus and the wheelchair are friends!?

it is just a Bus that everyone can ride!
the generally accepted term is
"Universal Access"

Bob

--

Access Systems

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Jan 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/6/99
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In misc.transport.urban-transit Zack <busd...@idt.net> wrote:

there are a few flaws in this argument

: What good is the accessablility features going to do if the bus cant stop?

if the bus "can't" stop it belongs in the shop, not on the street

: there is a fine line i beilieve in Accessable service and Non Accessable. I

no there is a very BIG line, either everyone can get on the bus, or only
certain people can use the bus, normally that is called "discrimination"

: beilieve that a weelchair bus should always be ready for service if someone
: needs it,

and how is that supposed to happen? if the bus is not in service it means
it is sitting idle, with driver, in the yard, very expensive. or you
expect people with disabilities to have to make arangements to use a city
bus. no one else has to, not to mention the concept of public transit, it
is there when one needs it, if I have to call I might as well take a cab,
they are faster and more reliable.

but the big problem is that it hasn't worked, TA had almost 15 years in
which they (supposedly) tried that system and the full access laws were
forced on them because they either didn't want to or couldn't make the "on
call" system work

: but i also beilieve that atleast here in N. America there are a


: lot of roads without sidewalks so ramps are fairly useless, unless the

the ramps are designed to work down to street level, I wrote that part of
the reg! most low floor buses don't even need the ramp at sidewalks, if
the driver gets close to the curb (I rarely use the ramp myself)

: driver stops gets out and pushed the wheelchair onboard, but also what if

for the few times the help is needed what's the big deal, drivers have
always been allowed/instructed to help certain people on and off the bus
(since the 30's in my home town drivers have been required to help
visually impaired people who are riding across the street when they get
off, if requested. it's referred to as common courtesy)

: they tip? so basecally why put a full time wheelchair bus on a route that


: dosent have the infrastructure to support it?

how many routes in this country don't have at least two stops where there
are curbs??? then there are potential riders. not to mention the fact
that we ride where there are no curbs or sidewalks too, heck half of North
America has no curb ramps so sidewalks are useless anyway. there are
certain stops where I know this and I instruct the driver to let me off in
the street rather than the sidewalk.

: FishBowls 4 ever!

there are many fishbowls with lifts on them! (but basically they are
antiques, IMO)

Bob

--

jerryk

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Jan 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/7/99
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On 6 Jan 1999 14:32:32 GMT, acce...@smart.net (Access Systems) wrote:

You have to understand that in Canada and the northern US there is bad
weather to deal with and even in the hot days of summer people in
wheelchairs refuse to take all that time to get to a bus stop which
can be quite hard to do ... most accessible people interviewed here
prefer specialized accessibility transit then freezing or sweating
getting to bus stops and in winter it can be quite dangerous, and
then suffering while waiting for the bus, no one has thought of the
distances some people may have to take to get to a bus stop ...... and
to me there is no difference between a regular bus with wheel chair
lift and low floor if the bus driver has to get up to help there is
no point in low floor buses when wheel chair lift buses had the same
capability and how much were they used .... there also has to be
some accountablity by the accessibility sector to the taxpayer with
regards to expense versus use .... its about time common sense
prevails

Darrin B

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Jan 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/7/99
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jerryk wrote in message <3694fe14....@news.ica.net>...

:You have to understand that in Canada and the northern US there is bad


:weather to deal with and even in the hot days of summer people in
:wheelchairs refuse to take all that time to get to a bus stop which
:can be quite hard to do ... most accessible people interviewed here
:prefer specialized accessibility transit then freezing or sweating
:getting to bus stops and in winter it can be quite dangerous, and
:then suffering while waiting for the bus, no one has thought of the
:distances some people may have to take to get to a bus stop ...... and
:to me there is no difference between a regular bus with wheel chair
:lift and low floor if the bus driver has to get up to help there is
:no point in low floor buses when wheel chair lift buses had the same
:capability and how much were they used .... there also has to be
:some accountablity by the accessibility sector to the taxpayer with
:regards to expense versus use .... its about time common sense
:prevails

:
Very good point. Here, in Buffalo, the NFTA and the City of Buffalo are
fighting over WHO is responsible for having bus stop areas cleaned out in
Downtown. The city says the NFTA must do it, but the Buffalo Place
organization that oversees the transit mall and parts of Washington and
Pearl Streets is responsible for the maintainance in that area. Who's job
is it? Well, the snow is now up to 7 feet at the stops.

darrin b.

Access Systems

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Jan 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/7/99
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In misc.transport.urban-transit jerryk <gla...@ica.net> wrote:
: On 6 Jan 1999 14:32:32 GMT, acce...@smart.net (Access Systems) wrote:

: You have to understand that in Canada and the northern US there is bad


: weather to deal with and even in the hot days of summer people in
: wheelchairs refuse to take all that time to get to a bus stop which

??? that's strange since the highest per capita use transit system in the
U.S. is Cambria County Transit Authority. in the middle of the mountains
and the snow belt!
I lived in Maine and would only use the bus.
and Chicago has quite a large ridership, and Seattle has some of the
highest ridership.

the evidence does not back up your assertion

: can be quite hard to do ... most accessible people interviewed here

getting to the bus stop may be "hard" but it is still "possible" when
"Trapped" on paratransit you have no option.

: prefer specialized accessibility transit then freezing or sweating

who was "interviewed" and where is "here" and where can I get a copy of
this study.
most every study that claims "preference" for "specialized" service is
usually gotten by interviewing people who are already riding the service
or is worded such that people think they will "actually get the service"

not one paratransit service in the world is meeting the uncostrained
demand that can be met with an accessible mainline service.

In every case there are "restrictions" of one kind or another that prevent
people with disabilities from getting the service they need.

: then suffering while waiting for the bus, no one has thought of the


: distances some people may have to take to get to a bus stop ...... and

exactly the same amount of suffering everyone else is going through and
the distiance is no further than everyone else.

: to me there is no difference between a regular bus with wheel chair


: lift and low floor if the bus driver has to get up to help there is
: no point in low floor buses when wheel chair lift buses had the same
: capability

your right I make no distinction if the bus is accessible, HOWEVER there
is one advantage of the low floor bus. there is no significant maintenance
requirement, especially in localities that don't want the service, they
then do not maintain them adequately, thus a self fulfilling prophecy

: and how much were they used .... there also has to be

in areas where there is a fully accessible system the ridership has
exceeded any projections. (ie; New York city over 1,000 riders a day,
Washington DC, stopped counting because they thought the numbers were
inaccurate. even smaller cities are getting over 100 uses a day)

: some accountablity by the accessibility sector to the taxpayer with


: regards to expense versus use .... its about time common sense
: prevails

that's exactly what is finally happening, the incremental cost of
paratransit is $34-37 average while the lift bus incremental cost is $3.70
or a savings of over $30 every time a person with a disability boards a
regular bus. (in New York that amounts to over $10million in savings per
year!!!)

not to mention that with "reliable" service people with disabilities can
get a job and go to university etc. NO PARATRANSIT SYSTEM IN THE WORLD
CAN MEET THE DEMAND FOR SERVICE, AT ANY COST! how will you limit the
expenses for the "Specialized" service you seem to think is so great.???
and if the paratransit service were so good as many non disabled claim,
why would anyone go to the trouble that folks with disabilities have just
to get the "poorer" mainline service????

Bob

Jesse the K

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Jan 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/8/99
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In article <3694fe14....@news.ica.net>, gla...@ica.net (jerryk) wrote:

> You have to understand that in Canada and the northern US there is bad
> weather to deal with

Yesterday I rode the bus three times (I use a power wheelchair). The high
yesterday was 4 deg F, with a gentle breeze, it was definitely -- umm,
this is a family ng -- cold. (I was so well bundled that I took off three
layers top and bottom and was still decent! <grin>) It takes around 10
mins for me to get to my first busstop -- I enjoyed the winter light.
(Hey! I choose to live here!)

Sidewalks -- including curb ramps -- were mostly shovelled. (Thanks in
part to a steadily growing campaign on my part to make sure all my
neighbors know the shovelling rules in our city, and that I'm trapped at
home if they don't follow them.) When the busstop wasn't shovelled out, I
boarded in the street.

I got stuck a few times in drifts -- passers-by were helpful and I got unstuck.

I could have scheduled three paratransit rides instead. I prefer waiting
in the cold than wasting 3 hours telephoning until I get through,
arranging for, confirming, waiting for, and waiting on those paratransit
trips.
--
Jesse the K -- 43:04N 89:24W Madison WI USA
Where am I going, and how did I get in this handbasket?

jerryk

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Jan 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM1/8/99
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On 7 Jan 1999 21:24:16 GMT, acce...@smart.net (Access Systems) wrote:

>In misc.transport.urban-transit jerryk <gla...@ica.net> wrote:

>: On 6 Jan 1999 14:32:32 GMT, acce...@smart.net (Access Systems) wrote:
>
>: You have to understand that in Canada and the northern US there is bad

>: weather to deal with and even in the hot days of summer people in
>: wheelchairs refuse to take all that time to get to a bus stop which
>
>??? that's strange since the highest per capita use transit system in the
>U.S. is Cambria County Transit Authority. in the middle of the mountains
>and the snow belt!

Big difference with a major city like Toronto having to load so many
people on quickly compared to an area of less density Lets be
reasonable here


> I lived in Maine and would only use the bus.
>and Chicago has quite a large ridership, and Seattle has some of the
>highest ridership.
>
> the evidence does not back up your assertion
>
>: can be quite hard to do ... most accessible people interviewed here
>
>getting to the bus stop may be "hard" but it is still "possible" when
>"Trapped" on paratransit you have no option.
>
>: prefer specialized accessibility transit then freezing or sweating
>
>who was "interviewed" and where is "here" and where can I get a copy of
>this study.

A wheelchair writer doing a report on LF buses visited Kingston
Transit
In a Mississauga Transit article it was felt the money would have
been better spent pouring it directly into more Para transit type
vehicles running their own route system then changing regular transit
buses


> most every study that claims "preference" for "specialized" service is
>usually gotten by interviewing people who are already riding the service
>or is worded such that people think they will "actually get the service"
>
>not one paratransit service in the world is meeting the uncostrained
>demand that can be met with an accessible mainline service.

Well maybe its time for its own scheduled routing as per need

Well then how do you have accountablity to the taxpayer by having this
sector enjoy two options it must either have one or the other not
both
>
>Bob


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