When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/American?

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Tadman » Wed May 17, 2017 8:09 am

n2cbo wrote:
SemperFidelis wrote:Many, many of NJ Transit's conductors do need a lesson or two on how to address a customer properly, though.


The KEY word here is CUSTOMER!! Many RR employees don't really look at passengers as CUSTOMERS, and that the railroad is providing a SERVICE to them. I guess since there is NO competition, i.e. only one railroad (either Amtrak or a commuter railroad) that has service to the area, many RR employees have the attitude that "we're the only game in town", so it's OUR way or NO way...


Being a customer does not entitle you to a level of service.

For example, if I am a customer of a vending machine, I will receive no small talk or polite wishes from the owner. If my candy jams up, I will receive no value for my $1. I don't expect anybody calls the 800 number and asks for their dollar back.

Likewise, an airplane or a train is public transit. Many people ride here, it's not 1-on-1 business. Further, there are hefty amounts of operational and safety protocol which must be followed in order to ensure everybody arrives safely and the vehicle does not harm any bystanders while en route. When a conductor or flight crew member tells you to do something, YOU DO NOT QUESTION IT PERIOD FULL STOP OR YOU WILL BE REMOVED AND PROSECUTED.

Now, many people might maintain that certain recent airline passengers were "not really" a safety threat. That doesn't matter. The only people legally entitled to make that decision are the trained crew. Passengers are not railroaders or flight crew and have no training to back up their judgments, and thus are not entitled to second guess decisions made by employees. Once we go down that road of passengers justifying their dissent, where do we draw the line? Everybody has different subjective standards on what they feel is right and wrong, which means we have a madhouse.

Now, that doesn't mean one can't report an employee for doing something improper. If one has a complaint, take down the name, date, time, flight/train number, and file a complaint. It really does work. But going self-vigilante on a plane or train against a crew member is a great way to wind up in jail.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby n2cbo » Wed May 17, 2017 11:50 am

Tadman wrote:
n2cbo wrote:
SemperFidelis wrote:Many, many of NJ Transit's conductors do need a lesson or two on how to address a customer properly, though.


The KEY word here is CUSTOMER!! Many RR employees don't really look at passengers as CUSTOMERS, and that the railroad is providing a SERVICE to them. I guess since there is NO competition, i.e. only one railroad (either Amtrak or a commuter railroad) that has service to the area, many RR employees have the attitude that "we're the only game in town", so it's OUR way or NO way...


Being a customer does not entitle you to a level of service.

For example, if I am a customer of a vending machine, I will receive no small talk or polite wishes from the owner. If my candy jams up, I will receive no value for my $1. I don't expect anybody calls the 800 number and asks for their dollar back.

Likewise, an airplane or a train is public transit. Many people ride here, it's not 1-on-1 business. Further, there are hefty amounts of operational and safety protocol which must be followed in order to ensure everybody arrives safely and the vehicle does not harm any bystanders while en route. When a conductor or flight crew member tells you to do something, YOU DO NOT QUESTION IT PERIOD FULL STOP OR YOU WILL BE REMOVED AND PROSECUTED.

Now, many people might maintain that certain recent airline passengers were "not really" a safety threat. That doesn't matter. The only people legally entitled to make that decision are the trained crew. Passengers are not railroaders or flight crew and have no training to back up their judgments, and thus are not entitled to second guess decisions made by employees. Once we go down that road of passengers justifying their dissent, where do we draw the line? Everybody has different subjective standards on what they feel is right and wrong, which means we have a madhouse.

Now, that doesn't mean one can't report an employee for doing something improper. If one has a complaint, take down the name, date, time, flight/train number, and file a complaint. It really does work. But going self-vigilante on a plane or train against a crew member is a great way to wind up in jail.


Tadman, the point that I was trying to make was about the ATTITUDE of SOME RR employees. Some (and this is a minority of them, but a significant minority) RR employees have the attitude that comes across as "This would be a great job if it weren't for all those darned passengers", forgetting that if it weren't for the passengers there wouldn't be a job.

When I worked for Amtrak back in the 1970's (while I was in college) I was a traveling electrician. I always did my darndest to make sure that I treated the passengers that I had contact with (and this was mostly when something in the car was malfunctioning, and that happened quite often when there was non-HEP equipment in the consist) like my job depended on them being satisfied customers. Many of my colleagues had the attitude that all the ticket bought the passenger was transportation from point A to point B, and it didn't matter if the HVAC or lights stopped working.

Most RR personnel I have encountered since then have a good attitude, but there still are (In My Humble Opinion) too many that treat the passenger like an extra burden rather than as a customer.
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby mtuandrew » Thu May 18, 2017 11:25 am

Well, unfortunately someone seems to have been reading our thread: Amtrak shooting incident, Naperville, IL
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Re: When will passenger RRs have incidents like United/Ameri

Postby Disney Guy » Tue May 23, 2017 7:35 am

Who made the first aggressive move?

Problems between passengers are less likely to happen on trains because people can get up and move around at almost any time to avoid confrontation.

But problems between passengers and crew are more likely to happen on trains compared with airplanes because fares are collected on board. If a "secret shopper" wrote up a conductor for not using tactics that have been known to result in confrontations then the railroad's training and methods are faulty.

While the responsibility of the transportation company consists of getting someone from point A to point B, I contend that the company has the responsibility of doing it safely, with neither equipment nor other passengers creating a hazard. My personal opinion is that an unheated car would not be unacceptable (it is the passenger's responsibility to bring appropriate clothing) but too high a temperature would be unacceptable.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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