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55 originally developed by Calgary Transit. The first half of aging customer feedback" module, and "managing stress" the day focuses on assault prevention training--recognizing module. Bus operators are taught using a combination of tech- disturbed/intoxicated individuals, how to deal with problem- niques, including interactive discussions with bus operators, atic passengers and conflict situations, verbal judo and de- basic instruction, and video. Also, real-life scenarios are escalation techniques. During the second half of the course, brought into the modules. bus operators practice physical self-defense techniques. All of Winnipeg's 1,100 operators have undergone the training. Note that Winnipeg does not have its own police or security Advantages personnel. Reduces likelihood of disputes. Increases overall customer satisfaction. CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING Frequency of training may be increased if necessary for operators needing more training. Customer service training is an extremely important aspect of assault prevention because some incidents can be avoided through specific operator behaviors. Maintaining a profes- Agency Experience sional demeanor at all times and staying calm in stressful Pierce Transit, Lakewood, Washington situations are important. Training can teach operators per- sonal de-stressing techniques. A bus operator trained in The agency instructs operators about policies and procedures, verbal judo or de-escalation techniques can calm a hostile workplace violence policy, and use of force policy. They are customer and defuse a potentially violent situation. Bus oper- taught to be respectful, courteous, and informative, and to ators need to know and understand how to apply agency rules make a reasonable effort to collect the fare. Pierce Transit pro- and regulations. vides operators with a booklet that describes rules for bus safety, which they may provide to passengers. The booklet The FTA administers a variety of bus operator training, includes a comprehensive list of Pierce Transit's "rules of the including customer relations and safety and security training, road" code of conduct. The training includes interactive dis- through the Transportation Safety Institute (TSI), the National cussions about various scenarios (e.g., short fare). Operators Transit Institute (NTI), Johns Hopkins University, and the are asked to describe potential actions they might take and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center at low cost or consequences of the actions. The training also includes pro- no cost to transit agencies. Many transit agencies have taken cedures on what to do in emergencies and when and how to advantage of these training opportunities. Some of the larger use the silent alarm. Operators are advised to report all inci- agencies have developed an internal training division that dents and suspicious activity, and if a firearm is sighted, they delivers various classes to bus operators. Also, transit police are instructed to use a specific radio code to report it but may develop and deliver security-related training to bus warned not to challenge the passenger. Assault prevention operators. and robbery and theft prevention tips are also provided to the operators. Assault prevention tips include: "remain seated The TSI train-the-trainer Instructor's Course in Bus Opera- when interacting with customers," "do not detain or trap indi- tor Training is a 4-day course that teaches participants to train viduals inside the bus," "once a passenger has exited the bus qualified, professional bus operators. At a cost of $100 per par- `let it go.' " ticipant, instructors are trained in presentation and creative learning techniques; facilitation methods; and adult learning principles in customer relations, vehicle operations, and emer- NYC Transit, New York, New York gency management. Upon completion, the participants are certified by the U.S.DOT to train bus operators. NYCT has a comprehensive training program for new opera- tors as well as refresher training for existing operators. The Transit Ambassador Program is a comprehensive Because most assaults against NYCT operators are the result training course on customer service for transit employees and of fare disputes, the agency believes that addressing fare dis- managers. The program, designed by CUTA, is a Train-the- putes and mitigating them will help prevent operator assault. Trainer (TTT) certification course that allows agencies to Operators are taught that the first priority is safe, reliable, and deliver the program themselves once their staff has been cer- efficient bus service, and the second priority is collecting rev- tified. About 50 Canadian agencies, 35 U.S. agencies, and enue. Operators are presented with various realistic scenarios 20 European and Australian agencies are using the program. during training courses, including passengers who refuse to The feedback from agency managers and transit workers pay their fare, who violate other agency policies, and are rude regarding the program has been positive. The program started or challenging. They are then asked to respond to these diffi- in the 1980s and was updated and revised in 2007. The four cult situations. Operators are taught to use their judgment, to core modules of the program are the "essentials of customer simply state the fare or other rule being violated, and allow service" module, "effective communications" module, "man- fare evaders and other rule violators to continue to ride the