Follow that bus

| Comments (1) | Misc
Coming home from dinner tonight, Mrs. Guesswork noticed that a passing bus had "CALL 911" instead of the ordinary route number on the external LED display. We followed instructions and called 911, who said that others had called it in as well.
  • I wonder if buses have some "I'm being hijacked" button accessible to the driver.
  • I wonder what's going on with this one (the 911 operator didn't say.

If anyone in Palo Alto notices this on the news and sees what's up, can you post something in the comments?


A little poking around with Google reveals that some (all? most?) municipalities appear to have installed a "silent alarm" system that the driver can activate in the case of... er... alleged trouble on the bus. It sounds like the silent alarm alerts the dispatcher and opens up a one-way audio channel for them to listen in; attempts to notify the dispatcher of nearby help; and switches the exterior signs to "call 911" or some variation.


'When a bus operator presses the silent alarm button, the bus destination sign will automatically switch to "Please call 911." At the DART First State Operations Center, the AVL SmartTrack screen will advise the dispatcher of the exact bus location and that of the closest DART First State Street Supervisor available to assist, all while the AVL SmartTrack system maintains communications between the bus operator and dispatcher.'

Also, search for the term "silent alarm" in

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