Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Bikes: '79 Gios, '80 Masi, '06 Felt, early '60s Frejus
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Originally Posted by markf
Lots of transit buses have video cameras of varying degrees of sophistication. A lot of them over write the footage after a certain amount of time, though, so if you want to review footage of a p[articular incident you should contact the bus company as soon as possible.
Note from the other side. I drove RTD buses in the Boulder area for First Transit, a contractor to RTD. As a cyclist, I was always sensitive to cyclists on the road, even when cyclists occasionally did something dumb. No cyclists were ever hit, but passengers often came close to ending up on the floor.
The starting pay for drivers and mechanics is very low, and First Transit is almost always understaffed, hiring new drivers, and in a constant state of mandatory overtime. New drivers get the worst routes, the worst buses, and the bulk of the overtime. Things that make a route bad are difficult timetables, minimal rest periods, and driving during rush hour. Often, I would start just as morning rush hour wound up and not finish until the evening rush was over, in a bus with an overheating engine and malfunctioning air conditioning.
I ended up walking off the job after one of those shifts. After pulling into the garage after 7 pm I saw that I'd been scheduled to drive the next morning, on my day off, at 4:20. I was stressed, depressed, and I didn't want to spoil a clean driving record or hurt someone. Of course, my leaving probably caused other overstressed drivers to take my shift, but I was happy to get out with my life.
The on-board cameras were instituted during my tenure, and good drivers learn to be aware of it without letting it interfere with their driving. Switching from the focus from the windshield to the passenger compartment, they run a virtual tape loop, writing over old footage. A sudden movement such as a sudden stop triggers the camera to save footage and transmit it to safety monitors at the garage. A light on the camera warns the driver of this, although sometimes the camera will simply do a random transmit. Sometimes a passenger will ask the driver what caused the light to go on.
Just a word to the wise. Ride defensively around RTD buses.