|CCPT buses are old but not this old.|
Licence: Public domain license
© 2016 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY – Feb. 28, 2016
Word on the street: a county public bus caught on fire.
Not really true, says James Bosley, Planning Technician.
As reported previously CCPT – Clinton County Public Transportation – has been experiencing problems with its aging buses. Sometimes a story is heard about a particular maintenance incident.
I emailed James with a short list of items that have been making the rounds lately. He responded on February 26 regarding the validity of those stories. He had talked with the bus facility management, McDonald Transit/Clinton Transit Management, earlier that day.
“I was pretty well informed,” he said, “for the most part already but I wanted to make sure I had the full picture.”
The bus that supposedly was aflame? In this case there was smoke but no fire.
James explained that a driver claimed to see smoke, using a fire extinguisher to deal with the problem.
He continued: “I was present when the bus was looked at by a NYSDOT [New York State Department of Transportation] official, a former inspector who has since been promoted, and the NYSDOT official saw no signs that there had been a fire. It is possible to have smoke without a fire, as unlikely as it may seem.”
He added the bus, #15, hasn’t been used since the incident.
Another item: a bus with no heat was operating during a cold spell.
The heaters were functional for the passengers but there was no working fan to circulate the warmth in the driver area.
James: “If the heaters are not working it is considered a class ‘B’ defect under the NYSDOT criteria, which means the bus can still be used in service. Obviously this is less than ideal, but it is preferable to cancelling routes.”
What about the story that a bus died and a driver had to use his own personal vehicle to get the passengers to their destinations?
The General Manager confirmed to James the South City bus had stopped operating one time for an hour but a personal car didn’t transport the stranded passengers. Instead a company vehicle, a Clinton Transit Management Chevrolet Impala, came to the rescue.
The problem of mistaken ownership will be addressed said James. “After talking today [with the General Manager] McDonald Transit (Clinton Transit Management) is going to add lettering to the Impala so it is clear it is a company vehicle, not a personal vehicle.”
Once again a story about an actual incident but in the retelling a key detail was distorted.
James reassured all riders that CCPT is concerned about the high mileage of the majority of the fleet (350,000 miles in some cases) but it doesn’t want to cancel routes.
He explained: “It is not a safety concern because the driver inspection and vehicle maintenance procedures are in place to make sure a vehicle is not used if it has a defect that could affect safety.”