On October 30th, a TriMet bus operator witnessed a pedestrian being struck by an auto and pushed the alarm on the agency’s radio system to call for assistance. TriMet’s new radio system tracked the call and identified the exact location of the vehicle. While the audio was garbled, the radio system was quickly restarted and the issue was resolved.
Contrary to the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the dispatchers knew the location of the bus. Also contrary to ATU claims, dispatchers were involved in designing the new radio system as it was developed, including being part of the team that traveled to other transit agencies to review the proposed dispatch systems.
The new radio system was fully activated in April, and we continue to work with the vendor to improve the system, which includes dispatcher involvement. A permanent software fix is in the works to address the garbled messages, and set to be installed in mid-November.