Eye On CARTA - And Response

Friday, February 1, 2013

I've had many close-calls with CARTA buses for years. When lodging a complaint that the same bus ran three consecutive red lights, the CARTA dispatcher's consistent response was, "Well, have you ever tried to stop a bus in a dime?"

As a matter of fact, I have. I've driven Greyhound Charter buses. And unlike CARTA drivers who drive 14 ton vehicles as if their were sports cars, I do not assume the attitude of "I'm bigger, he'll move." 

CARTA bus drivers aren't even supposed to have a cell phones with them on the job, but I filed a complaint against a specific downtown full-size bus because she was double-parked blocking most of Market Street (instead of in-line behind the bus already at that curb) and when I passed the driver, she was oblivious to anything except her furious texting. This same bus a block down the road pulled up behind me at a red light. The operator was still maniacally texting.

You cops see it every day and let it go because it's another arm of the Chattanooga government and the Po-Po would prefer to avoid interdepartmental scuffles.

I suggest a moratorium on CARTA buses. Their drivers are apathetic to their responsibilities and passengers. Their complaint department is (for the past two years) either impotent or couldn't care less. When I mentioned other infractions CARTA employees have incurred, the pat answer from their complaint department was "That person doesn't work here anymore." I'm not gullible. Are you? 

Public transportation in Chattanooga is attempting to grow numbers. CARTA will not be successful while your bus drivers run red lights, change lanes on-a-whim without signaling, double park in the middle of busy arteries at anytime, including rush hour and dishing out parking tickets. Today, from 2-2:30, I saw five separate incidents of CARTA Buses running red lights at Market and MLK, Broad and MLK, 4th Street and Market. I think the assurances I received at CARTA Corporate this afternoon to be little more that lip service only to rapidly dissipate like a gaseous emanation in the wind. My rationale for lodging a complaint against that bus is because CARTA never, ever does anything about any complaint.

Attention Chattanooga government and CARTA officials:  I will be carrying a video camera on my person at all times when away from my residence. When I witness a CARTA, SEPTA or any other form of CARTA service disregarding the law, texting or talking on a cell phone, eating or having a polite conversation with passengers, it will all be recorded and will all be considered distracted driving.  A weekly compilation of these videos will be presented to the chief of police of greater Chattanooga with copies sent to WRCB, WTVC, WDSI, WDEF and others. Boy will they have a field day. Oh, and since the drivers are public employees, video taping them in the performance (or lack thereof) of their job has just been ruled completely legal.

 Attention all CARTA passenger: Until all CARTA bus drivers have received remedial instruction on the rules of the city and the road, I believe it is unsafe and unwise to avail yourself of any CARTA service. Until their management "gives a darn" this is a bus company actively seeking a major accident. Are you going to be in that bus?

David D. Fihn, Sr.

Hixson 

* * * 

After moving back to Chattanooga over 30 years ago, I sometimes found myself needing the use CARTA public transportation services when I was without my own transportation. In my own transportation,  I've also driven behind and beside CARTA. I can honestly say I've never witnessed what Mr. Fihn, Sr. just described. It sounds more like he's hallucinating or something. 

For quite sometime now, I've noticed a certain "group" operating behind the scenes that seems to have formed here in the city, promoting themselves as activists operating for the good of the people. But they really come across as a hate group. Whose agenda is much darker than simple mean spirited. Their acts and deeds appear base, ugly and down right evil. Are you a part of that group, Mr. Fihn? 

Brenda Washington


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

We Need The Chattanooga History Center

Having been on several of Dr. Daryl Black's walking tours, I can say that they weren't just informative, but a treat. The downtown, Fort Wood and Ninth Street of yesteryear were brought dramatically to life. We stood on the ground where Sherman had his headquarters (near the Ice Cream Show) and the corner where Bessie Smith sang as a young girl. And we also stood beneath the ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Body Found On South Highland Park Avenue

The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating a body found at 2106 S.   Highland Park Ave.  The person’s identity and cause of death are unknown at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call  423 698-2525. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available. (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns State Duals Berth With 45-33 Win

The Notre Dame wrestling team is peaking at the right time. It's been an up and down season for the Fighting Irish and for the first time all year, they have a full lineup. And now they can start making plans for next weekend's State Duals in Franklin after beating East Ridge for the second time in three days. The Irish beat East Ridge by eight points on Thursday night ... (click for more)

UTC Women's Basketball Rated No. 25 Nationally

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team has been knocking on the door for many years. Someone finally answered. After six weeks of receiving votes and getting as close as seven points on January 5, and just two spots out of the Top 25 for the last two weeks, the Mocs have finally cracked the AP Top 25 with a 25th place ranking. “When a group ... (click for more)