Posted: Feb 11, 2013 4:36 PM by Andrew Ellison - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 11:10 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Safe to say when you get on a bus here in town, you're assuming that the bus is completely safe, but that may not always be the case.
We took a look at Defect Card Reports from the Regional Transportation Authority for the last year.
Defect Cards are reports that every driver fills out at the end of his or her shift everyday. If there is a problem with the bus, the driver puts it in the report.
Many of the problems we found were routine, like cracked windshields, but others were pretty serious health and safety concerns.
The records show that many of the buses reported roaches, 29 cases in all.
And what's more is that the problem didn't always seem to be getting fixed.
For example, one bus reported having roaches three times in less than a month.
But scariest of all were the number of brake issues reported, and again, some didn't seem to be getting fixed.
On november 9th, one bus's brakes were reported as "pulling to the right". On november 29th, another driver filed the same issue for the same bus. Then again on December 7th.
That's three reports of a serious brake issue from the same bus in a little less than a month.
Another bus's brakes were reported as making strange noises eight times in just five weeks. In one report, the driver even noted the lack of attention to the problem, mentioning that it was the "6th write up".
The R.T.A tells us the reports from drivers are assessed by mechanics, and they decide how serious the problem is. If they decide the bus can still safely operate, or if they decide that the problem can be fixed at a later date, the bus remains active.
Carl Weckenmann is the Director of planning for the R.T.A.
"Some of the repeats that you might see in the defect cards probably are in those categories," he says.
But R.T.A Union President Rowland Estrada, who represents the bus drivers, says their reports don't always get properly addressed.
"Sometimes we have to get with people in maintenance and explain to them that this is what's wrong with the bus so they get a better idea, because just writing it up is not going to solve the issue," he says.
He added they have to work together.
"It takes that type of a team to work together and get things resolved," he says.
Estrada added that he's asking the Board of Directors to increase the maintenance staff to give more attention to each problem that comes in.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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