I heard from a bus driver this morning who's angry over the CTA's new policy of firing drivers caught using cell phones. The driver who called said the radio system on the bus is frequently broken down, so drivers are left with no alternative but to call the Control Center or 911 using a personal cell phone in case of emergency. The driver said other drivers are saying that if the radio doesn't work, they plan to just sit there in their disabled bus waiting until the supervisor comes to find them.
"I'm not going to walk looking for a pay phone," the driver said. "I'm going to wait for the supervisor to come find me. The radios don't always work.... We're out here like sitting ducks."
The bus driver's complaint echoes remarks made by Darrell Jefferson, head of the CTA bus drivers union, who said that since the transit agency is going to ban personal cell phone use, it should also make sure the CTA's bus communication equipment works properly.
"Based on what our [members] tell us, the system is down more than it's working," Jefferson said.