Friday, January 2, 2009

Commuter Services Need to Educate the Public

During his week in passenger commuter service, my husband noticed that new passengers just don't know what they're doing. They don't know where to expect the train to arrive, they don't know where to stand or board. Things get especially bad when there are last minute changes and the train doesn't arrive in their town on the usual track. This leads to people crossing the tracks in unauthorized areas, and trying to board the train away from the platform-- both potentially dangerous scenarios. The conductors are forced to deal with these incidents by refusing to board the passengers-- to teach them to do it right next time, and to avoid providing a bad example to other passengers.

The passengers shouldn't have to go through this. And the conductors shouldn't have to put out fires this way. The commuter services need to provide dynamic signs at stations with more than one track, so that if the train is going to arrive on a different track, passengers can be alerted. Further, billboards should be placed in parking areas, at the station, and at waiting areas to teach the public about how to safely board a train.

I know that several years ago I wanted to take my kids to downtown on the train. I had no idea what I was doing-- where to buy a ticket- where to cross the tracks, or where to stand. I felt uncomfortable the whole time.

I'm going to write a few letters about this situation and at least bring awareness about this safety issue.

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