this was written in response to different things concerning the mass transit for my area. the ideas themselves are not meant to be specific to one public transit system. I have no problem with the ideas being used for other public transportation systems.
Firefighting, Policing and Communications ideas for the MBTA
Instead of the firefighters union and the MBTA complaining back and forth about how much training firefighters are getting or have gotten they should be working to remedy the problem. If the articles in the newspapers are correct then the MBTA hasn’t kept up with hiring new people for their police department and hasn’t given them adequate training in anti-terrorism tactics. Also the MBTA has communications problems that they caused themselves by not replacing antiquated communication systems which prohibits even their own people from communicating effectively enough to their jobs properly. I have some ideas as to what I think should be done to remedy this but I don’t have any experience behind me to be able to say here is how it should be done or to know the costs involved. Here are the ideas that I have.
· Starting with the firefighters and their training for subway tunnel fires set up an abandoned subway tunnel that can still support train traffic or build a tunnel system that is a realistic mock up of a subway tunnel with stations for each subway line. Also set up trains that are no longer used by the MBTA in various points in the mock up to help the training along. As part of the training they should be taught too properly maneuver the trains incase the train is hindering their ability to work the fire or dealing with the aftermath of the fire. Include every city and town in the training that has subway tunnels and subway stations in them.
· In the process of training firefighters, find out if current equipment is adequate or if new equipment needs to be designed to better fight the subway fires especially if the firefighters are being hindered in someway from properly fighting the fire.
· Set up Firefighting teams that would have the appropriate equipment for subway tunnel and subway station fires, including vehicles that can fit in the tunnels and can be driven on both the streets and on railroad tracks.
· Regarding the MBTA police, hire more police officers to bring the MBTA’s police department up to the necessary staffing levels to appropriately police the property owned by the MBTA. Give the police more in-depth and more prolonged training with particular emphasis on what is considered suspicious activity. Do it even if it means hiring outside people that are trained to train the private sector to watch for suspicious activity that may have not been considered by the MBTA but would be useful in promoting better security.
· Any new communications system that is installed has to have the capability of allowing the people trained to operate the system to access the whole system and allow all of the relevant people to directly patch into the system. The communication system should also have the capability to allow people to talk to each other in the tunnels, with it being in real time, with out the need for repeaters in the tunnels. Each relevant responding city, state and/or federal agency should be able to communicate using a standardized frequency or frequencies.
· Design the communication system so that it cuts down on the ability to eavesdrop on the system but allows the MBTA, along with the local police and fire departments to utilize the system if needed with each department having the proper tools and training to tap into the system. Also design it so that way it will not be adversely effected by intense heat or fire for prolonged periods of time along with designing it so that it has an automatic back up system in place that would compensate for any problems if they should arise.
· For times where the system cannot use a land line, use the same or similar walkie-talkie technology that Nextel uses for its direct connect phones to provide some level of privacy and protection against eavesdroppers. Have the proper antennas and/or cells set up at and in the vents for the subway tunnels to permit two real time communications with the people involved.
from this point on it is ideas and suggestions that
I submitted to the rider oversight committee in
july of 2006 as you can see it is in report form
the document made it to subcommittee
Ideas for the
MBTA Rider Oversight Committee
Written by: Sean Davis
When there is an established local mass transit station or commuter rail station in a community whether it is commercial, residential or a combination of both when it comes to capital improvements I think that there are things could be done to offset the costs of the capital improvements so that the money can be put into other things that the MBTA can’t get around paying for in the budget.
When it comes to expansion into new communities I think that there are a few things that can be done to help the communities deal with the influx of new people flowing through the community. The biggest problem the communities have is the fact that many of them don’t want the MBTA in their communities, they need to be revitalized or new ones built from the ground up and they are not necessarily going to be built or revitalized in a time frame that the cities want unless everyone works together on the building of or revitalization a community with the biggest thing being moving people in and out of the community and having the right community based businesses there for the residents.
Where the MBTA has a major impact on the communities that the MBTA goes through especially with the street level rail beds for the trains, the MBTA has to take a proactive role in helping the communities that are directly affected.
Mass transit for the most part has been a cost effective means of commuting for work. Understandably not everyone can utilize the services that the MBTA offers at least for commuting purposes at the same time there are many people who can utilize these services but choose not to do so in favor of the conveniences of driving.
People know the MBTA best for its ability to move people around quickly during the daily commutes for work. On the same token but to a lesser degree people know that the MBTA is good at getting around for other things besides going to work. The MBTA needs to be more active in getting people to use their services outside of commuting for work.
Companies when looking to move and/or expand, they tend to want to move or expand in areas easily accessible by the highway. Unfortunately it causes more people to drive which only creates more of a bottleneck on the highways.
When it comes to the fare restructuring and fare increases there are positives and negatives for both for the most part people see the restructuring as a good thing and the fare increases as a bad thing.
The commuter rail has many advantages over driving but it isn’t as cost effective as it could be if the MBTA really took the time to look at what is wrong with the Commuter rail system.
The MBTA has to deal with its vendors and its unions and should treat them appropriately according to what is in the best interest of the MBTA.