Returning to Transit (The Decision)

PTA

After much thought, and after a tough couple of months figuring things out, I’m going to take my talents to DDOT. That’s right, the Detroit Department of Transportation.

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I was in the training program before, and I wasn’t happy with what I experienced, however I’ve been convinced things are changing, for the better. I would like to be apart of the change. Out with the old way of doing things, in with the new breed. This is my third, and final run as a transit bus driver. I don’t plan on switching teams again.

This is an opportunity to help change the culture of an organization and become a championship caliber team. I know it will be a long road ahead, but I’m something like the LeBron, (Pre-flopping) of bus drivers. A franchise player if I must say so myself.

I’ll be writing here on PTA a lot more…

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How Trump Budget will Affect Transit

PTA

President Donald Trump’s budget has been released, and like many people I was waiting to see how it would affect my personal interest — or business.

When it comes to public transportation, Trumps budget mainly affects aviation, and long distance routes for Amtrak.

As far as Aviation goes the budget will essentially move “the air traffic control function” of the Federal Aviation Administration and its 14,000 controllers “to an independent, non-governmental organization.” In other words, because of “inefficiencies and lagging technology efforts” airline executives want to privatize  America’s air traffic control system.

Amtrak will have long distance runs like the Empire Builder, which spans from Chicago to Seattle, scaled back a great deal. The Federal Transportation Administration Department, overall, faces a 13% cut while defense spending and Homeland security will go up 9% and 7% respectively.

Funding will be eliminated for 19 different agencies who depend on federal money, including the Appalachian…

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The Q in The D

PTA

The much anticipated QLINE street car makes it’s debut on May 12.

The 3 mile route will service the Woodward corridor, from downtown Detroit to Midtown. This also marks the first time since 1956, that Detroit has had streetcar style public transportation.

What was originally called the M-1 rail (before Dan Gilberts’ Quicken Loans purchased the naming rights), began construction in July of 2014, costing $142 Million. Each car will be 66 feet in length, and can travel up to the maximum speed of 35 m.p.h. up Woodward.

I’m curious to see how all these crazy drivers in South East Michigan are going to adapt. That’s the biggest question mark for me.

Here is some video of Detroits’ newest addition to the public transportation family. Enjoy:

Video courtesy of WXYZ channel 7 Detroit

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Top 10 Favorite Routes

PTA

I have worked for a couple of transportation companies. In my time, I have found routes I’ve fell in love with, and some routes I tried my damnedest to stay away from! Here’s my list of routes, that appeal to me for various reasons. Routes that I love to win on a bid, and just ride.

14 Crosstown(DDOT)

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Going from East to West and back. It’s easy, you see some main streets that help us newbies learn the city, and has some good layovers.

493 Downtown L.A. Express (Foothill Transit)

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This was the route that I learned the good and bad of Express Routes. I cut my teeth so to speak. The good was how quick you could potentially get to your ending destination, and have all the “me time” I wanted. The bad was there was usually traffic, and when it was bad you…

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Evolution of a Bus Driver

PTA

Do you remember the Chappelle Show skit, called the 3 Dave’s? Well, this is very similar. But it’s the bus driver addition! It took a few years, but I’ve realized, driving is apart of my being. It’s instrumental in shaping me into who I am.

When I’m behind the wheel I feel I am the best driver in America — dare say the world. Driving a bus is the one thing I’m borderline arrogant about. However you have to be on your toes, it’s pure multitasking, decision making, and so much more going on than what the average passenger sees.

Along the way I’ve learned patience, mastered the art of small talk, and I have met some cool people along the way. I want to share a bit about “The Dave” with those who don’t know my background:

Foothill Transit

Circa 2011. Have no clue what I was “pondering”…

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