PORTLAND - TriMet's new general manager announced two immediate steps Monday to improve the safety record of the transit system.
Neil McFarlane called an accident three months ago that killed two people and injured three as the "the darkest hour of TriMet's existence."
The agency's director of safety and security will now report directly to him, McFarlane said. That person was previously three levels down from the general manager.
Any personal electronic devices used by TriMet operators must now be turned off. Before, they could be left on but had to be out of sight.
McFarlane also created a 12-person task force to all aspects of the agency's performance.
“Companies that have created a culture of safety also perform their services to customers with excellence,” said McFarlane. “I am challenging the task force to focus on how to migrate TriMet to the highest levels of safety performance, and thereby improve our performance in all areas of our business.”
A report from the task force is expected this October.
After the April 24th accident, a grand jury found found that driver Sandy Day was not criminally negligent. She was cited for six traffic violations.
A blood drive for accident victim Danielle Sale was being held at the Kaiser Permanente clinic on the 3900 block of Mill Plain in Vancouver until 6 p.m.