RTA Rider/Writer on iWatch System
This post also appears on: http://blog.cleveland.com/cleveland-rta-riders/index.html
Text Transit Police was an Idea that came from riding RTA Buses, Trains and Trolleys all over town. Unlike the normal RTA Rider having this blog in on the Cleveland Plain Dealers website means knowing how it feels to be a rider on a regular basis.
As a dedicated rider to the RTA system even comparing it to my hometown transit system in Pittsburgh PA (PAT) Port Authority Transit this year and reporting it back to the RTA Board of Trustees who rarely ride the buses, trains with the exception of a few of them.
One of the suggestions years ago was to be able and text the RTA Transit Police when a crime is in progress using a cellular phone. It took a while for that suggestion to be put into motion but RTA actually did make it happen and on paper the Text Transit Police or iWatch was put into motion.
This weekend I decided to put the IWatch system into action and rode the 30 Bus, Healthline, 9 Bus, and Red Line Train. While only small incidents happened on the Healthline Buses I did notice there are no signs telling people about iWatch or even giving riders a chance to call or text transit police.
On both the 30 Bus and 9 bus there also were no signs telling riders to download the iWatch Application to their Smart Phones or I-Phones in case of trouble. No signs telling riders about this monumental new application being offered to riders.
Riding the heavy rail and finally the very confusing sign proclaiming help by downloading the iWatch Application is first seen. And on the RTA Red Line Train I attempted to read all of the very small print on this sign and found it confusing to say the least. Even trying to find the download site was a chore by itself and in my case the Huawei Y301A1 Valiant from Metro-PCS (T-Mobile) is not able to use the program. After going to Metro-PCS we found that the Samsung line of phones will download this application and not the very popular Huawei phones.
On-board the Red Line Train a young man decided to play his music without headphones so his friends could enjoy the sounds of his tunes. I watched as riders moved away from the hip-hop sounds to other parts of the train.On-board the Red Line Train a young man decided to play his music without headphones so his friends could enjoy the sounds of his tunes. I watched as riders moved away from the hip-hop sounds to other parts of the train.
Above hidden video camera went into action filming first the crime that could have been reported and then showing the view of the iWatch signs from the seat directly in front of it.
Summary, while this was Saturday and no Transit Police were at the Windermere Station and being unable to download the application because it is only for certain phones like Samsung and Apple I-Phones it just showed that the program needs some assistance to be fully functional.
First get rid of the very confusing signs that give riders a false sense of help. Wording, Graphics and implementation are in need of some assistance and not more fancy posters to make the board members think it is working. There are only six reviewers who actually took the time to tell RTA that the application is less than desirable.
The RTA Rider/Writer wants to help assist in any way possible the true implementation of a system that could save lives or at least make the ride pleasurable. My suggestion of having some of the RTA Transit Police undercover instead of in full uniform would stop most of the problems on both the Healthline and Heavy Rail trains however that has yet to happen.
With the low CLE rate there should be some respect for fellow riders and the hard working RTA drivers in need of some eyes behind their heads. Text Transit Police or iWatch just needs a little tweak of the application and some new signs to tell riders how to get the application and hopefully the members of the RTA Board will hear this presentation in November and get some action started.
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