In a story he did for KGW News he points out how he has had a 14 year clean safety record, and does not feel distracted with passengers conversing with him. One guy in the story says "bus drivers should be respected, but [Al] is not one of them". I want to know why not? Sure, as a fellow transit operator for another transit agency, I will side with operators. On this case, theres is no reason not to respect Al, he drives safe, he tries to keep on schedule, and focuses on being a safe driver. The ever so positive speaking spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said "It's ok to have a blog, but while your operating we would like you to focus on driving the bus". At what point did that become a problem? He is not posting to his blog while driving, or at work. His blog, and driving happen at different times of the day. He does not film while driving, someone else might. That only proves that customers, riders, chat with operators. Chatting with riders is something the the job entails, and you see it on many of the buses traveling about TriMets system. Operators are not robots, they are not puppets or drones. They are Bus Drivers, Human, Tourist Information, Trip Planners, Tour Guides, Customer Service Counter, and so much more.
Al's blog is not causing any harm. Sure it might piss you off from time to time, but I certainly do not think its a distraction to his job of operating a transit vehicle safely. Al will gladly point out where TriMet spends money, link to a few of my posts and videos, and give you his opinion of calling out stops. And when the spokeswoman of TriMet has spent some time behind the wheel of line 72, then we can take her comments of distracted driving with a little more respect. Until then, how do you know what distracted driving is compared to everything else operators do in a days work?
Al's blog is a fun read for sure, and the critics should stick to rating movies. I hope to keep reading his blog daily, there would be a gaping hole in the Transit Blogging Landscape without it.