Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by wilmette2008
 
Good Evening so today I asked about why the some ticket offices had reduced hours, and was told that it has to do with a new system installed and needed extra time in order to do end of day accounting before hitting there hours of service. I thought the HOS Laws did not apply to clerks or dose this have to do with overtime? Finally during Taste of Chicago and other festivles most ticket offices have extended hours during the week and on weekends, what would the OT pay rate be time and 1/2? Please let me know thanbk you.
  by Engineer Spike
 
If it is a daily need for extra paperwork, then the regular agent would probably have to stop sales sooner to cash out. I think that they likely bit the bullet and brought on a second trick agent, or paid the overtime for the Taste. They are likely money ahead to pay the agents to stay late for the Taste. There is no way that a train crew could cut that many cash fares. They could only get to what they could between stations. Many of the "shorts" would likely get a free ride. It is much better for the agents to sell the tickets, and then the train crew only has to sweep the train to look at the monthly passes, and punch the tickets.
  by wilmette2008
 
I have noticed that on the UP Northline ticket agents have to ware a lime green vest during the mail train, why would you say this is?
  by qboy
 
wilmette2008 wrote:I have noticed that on the UP Northline ticket agents have to ware a lime green vest during the mail train, why would you say this is?
Because they are required per UP rules to wear the vest near the tracks or platform.
  by wilmette2008
 
Interesting, how come they made that rule when in the past they were not required to?
  by qboy
 
The rule has been around for quite a while any employee thats gonna be near or on the tracks must wear the proper PPE which includes that vest. When they receive the mail from the train they must have that vest on. I'm sure in the last couple of years an audit team came from Omaha and observed the ticket agents getting mail and saw they weren't wear vest, and in some many words said they need to be wearing vest too. I've been wearing mine for a least 5yrs now so its only fair they wear them too.
  by wilmette2008
 
While on the subject of Mail Trains, today on the UP Northline the 10:35 out of downtown which normally is the mail train didn't do the mail pick up/drop offs today. Did something change? The agent at Davis was working so did they switch which train is the mail train? Or do they not do it anymore? Thanks.
  by wilmette2008
 
qboy wrote:The rule has been around for quite a while any employee thats gonna be near or on the tracks must wear the proper PPE which includes that vest. When they receive the mail from the train they must have that vest on. I'm sure in the last couple of years an audit team came from Omaha and observed the ticket agents getting mail and saw they weren't wear vest, and in some many words said they need to be wearing vest too. I've been wearing mine for a least 5yrs now so its only fair they wear them too.
What is an audit team?
  by Engineer Spike
 
Audit teams are snakes in the grass. They come around from HQ, and perform rules compliance tests. High failure rates signal to HQ, that the local officials aren’t strict enough with employees on rules compliance.
  by eolesen
 
Audit teams are a necessary evil, unfortunately. Too many weak managers think they can pencil-whip the self-audits on safety & compliance and never get caught.

Many times I got called out to go on safety or procedural audits at airports, and found a vastly different situation than what the submitted reports indicated. Sometimes it was managers being lazy, but when you see the same issues popping up systemwide, it helps highlight where you have shortfalls in communicating procedures, or how effective training was.
  by wilmette2008
 
eolesen wrote:Audit teams are a necessary evil, unfortunately. Too many weak managers think they can pencil-whip the self-audits on safety & compliance and never get caught.

Many times I got called out to go on safety or procedural audits at airports, and found a vastly different situation than what the submitted reports indicated. Sometimes it was managers being lazy, but when you see the same issues popping up systemwide, it helps highlight where you have shortfalls in communicating procedures, or how effective training was.
So it's basically trust but verify? I can also imagine that sometimes audits result in managers getting fired.
  by eolesen
 
That's the point. Managers live and die by the reports they file. The moment you're caught lying, you're gone.
  by wilmette2008
 
qboy wrote:The rule has been around for quite a while any employee thats gonna be near or on the tracks must wear the proper PPE which includes that vest. When they receive the mail from the train they must have that vest on. I'm sure in the last couple of years an audit team came from Omaha and observed the ticket agents getting mail and saw they weren't wear vest, and in some many words said they need to be wearing vest too. I've been wearing mine for a least 5yrs now so its only fair they wear them too.
I think the PPE includes safety glasses and ear plugs? I have seen them wearing those during the mail train. One agent I talked gave me the impression that she thought the safety glasses and ear plugs were overkill.
  by qboy
 
wilmette2008 wrote:
qboy wrote:The rule has been around for quite a while any employee thats gonna be near or on the tracks must wear the proper PPE which includes that vest. When they receive the mail from the train they must have that vest on. I'm sure in the last couple of years an audit team came from Omaha and observed the ticket agents getting mail and saw they weren't wear vest, and in some many words said they need to be wearing vest too. I've been wearing mine for a least 5yrs now so its only fair they wear them too.
I think the PPE includes safety glasses and ear plugs? I have seen them wearing those during the mail train. One agent I talked gave me the impression that she thought the safety glasses and ear plugs were overkill.
Yep!
  by eolesen
 
Even the cleaners that show up downtown have to wear PPE.

Meanwhile, customers get to go deaf and get diesel & brake pad particulate in their eyes... ;)

For what the agents earn, they can throw on the gear for the three minutes they need to step outside.