Your safety is important to us at WestCAT

All WestCAT vehicles are equipped with GPS technology, a system that has been in place since Spring 2004. This system uses global positioning satellites to record the time, location and the speed of a vehicle at a particular point. The Automatic Vehicle Locator system (AVL) as it is currently known, allows us to monitor all of our vehicles using a standard office PC, displaying their positions on a screen mounted on the wall in the dispatch center. Thus, allowing us to track our vehicles course and operational status (loading/unloading, in transit, waiting, etc.) in real time, leading to improved efficiency, and security, and better customer service.

The WestCAT fleet is also equipped with a video monitoring system (DriveCAM) that is designed to automatically take video recordings of the inside of the bus and the exterior surroundings when activated. The automatic activation of video recording sets off when the gravitational forces in the vehicle (G forces) are greater than 3. This can happen with a sudden application of the brakes or in a collision with an element or another vehicle on the road. In addition, the system can be turned on manually. For WestCAT, this system is a useful tool particularly when accidents or unexpected events take place, as it records the sequence of events in real time. This system was installed on the Agency’s fleet in 2004 and it represents an addition to the existing video monitoring system that the vehicles carry.

All of our employees are trained to be vigilant and observant of any unusual or suspicious activity and to immediately report anything to the dispatch center they feel could be a potential threat. All WestCAT operators are required to attend bi-monthly safety meetings, as well as refresher courses on all aspects of vehicle operation and emergency procedures. Additionally, management and staff regularly work with local law enforcement, and other agencies to continually update and improve WestCAT’s safety and security program.

There are also some steps that WestCAT passengers can take to help keep the system safe. Although the majority of items that are left unattended at bus stops and on buses are harmless, we’re asking customers to stay alert and to report any suspicious packages or activity to a WestCAT employee or to a police officer.

The following are some guidelines for dealing with an emergency situation:

  • Always listen for the operator’s instructions and follow them quickly and calmly.
  • Upon boarding the bus, familiarize yourself with the location of your nearest emergency exit. Emergency exit procedures are listed on windows, ceiling escape hatches and on doors.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of the fire extinguisher.  Fire extinguishers are located inside the front door under the passenger side seat or behind or beneath the driver’s seat.
  • Using a cell phone, call 9-1-1 for police assistance.

You can rest assured that WestCAT’s professional operators, dispatchers and staff are thoroughly trained to respond to emergency situations. Please cooperate with them, remain as calm as possible and act quickly when you have been given instructions by appropriate personnel.

Your Buses, Your Investment

Are you aware that every year WestCAT spends thousands of dollars in repairs due to graffiti and other forms of vandalism to your buses? This is money that could have been invested into your transit system, money that could be better put to use improving services to your community. So how do you help? You can start by dialing (510) 724-7993 and reporting:

  • Graffiti or vandalism on any WestCAT vehicle.
  • Suspicious behavior or unattended items or packages on WestCAT vehicles or at transit stops.
  • All other comments and concerns (all reports are kept confidential).

*Note: Comment cards can be found on all WestCAT vehicles.When reporting, please provide route/bus number, time and date of occurrence, and location of incident or vehicle if applicable.

Passenger Safety Policies

1. Purpose of Policies

1.1 The purpose of the following policies and rules is to protect the health, safety and welfare of WestCAT’s passengers and its drivers, and the protection of equipment used in providing public transit services.

2. Applicability of Passenger Safety Policy

2.1 WestCAT’s Passenger Safety Policies and Rules shall apply to all passengers, whether riding, exiting or entering the bus.

3. Conduct of Passengers

3.1 Please show courtesy to other passengers when entering, riding, and exiting the bus.
3.2 Please yield designated seats or spaces to disabled and/or elderly riders.
3.3 Use the “stop” signal only when approaching your designated bus stop.
3.4 Avoid excessive moving about the bus, particularly when it is in motion.

3.5 Prohibited conduct
3.5.1 Threatening the health, safety or well being of the driver, other passengers, or any third person;
3.5.2 Damaging or defacing the vehicle;
3.5.3 Criminal behavior including but not limited to that described in Penal Code section 640;
3.5.4 Fighting, pushing or shoving other passengers;
3.5.5 Any conduct intended to or which tends to distract or interfere with the driver’s operation of the bus;
3.5.6 Throwing any object or trash from or inside the bus;
3.5.7 Loud or boisterous talking or other noise, or unwanted conversation with other passengers tending to interfere with the other passengers’ use and enjoyment of the bus; or using obscene, threatening, offensive or “hate” speech;
3.5.8 Use of musical devices except using headphones;
3.5.9 Opening or tampering with emergency windows, except during an emergency;
3.5.10 Tampering with or operating equipment intended for the bus driver’s exclusive use;
3.5.11 Smoking, eating, drinking or expectorating on the vehicle;
3.5.12 Possession of any weapons, including but not limited to firearms, knives, or martial arts weapons;
3.5.13 Use or possession of illicit drugs, illegal substances or open containers of alcohol;
3.5.14 Intentional fare evasion, payment of incorrect fare, misuse of bus transfers, tickets, or passes;
3.5.15 Possession or use of any dangerous, flammable substances, or use of any device to produce a flame;
3.5.16 Disregarding or disobeying the directive of a bus driver with regard to these policies and their enforcement.

3.6 Enforcement of Policies
3.6.1 WestCAT bus drivers are authorized to enforce these policies in the first instance and in the exercise of professional judgment;
3.6.2 Upon witnessing a violation, WestCAT bus drivers may:
3.6.2.1 Warn the offending passenger that further like conduct will be grounds for ejection from the bus and/or future denial of services;
3.6.2.2 Stop the vehicle until the offending conduct stops, the offending passenger has been ejected from the bus, or law enforcement can assist in ejecting the offending passenger;
3.6.2.3 If the offending conduct occurs before the passenger has boarded the bus, refuse to admit the passenger onto the bus.
3.6.2.4 If circumstances warrant, report the passenger’s conduct to the police.
3.6.3 The bus driver will report any violation of 3.4 of this policy to WestCAT staff for further action.

3.7 Administrative Action by WestCAT
3.7.1 WestCAT staff will review all reports by drivers or passenger complaints of conduct or behavior which appears to violate 3.4 of this policy.
3.7.2 In its discretion and in the course of daily business, upon such review, WestCAT staff may:
3.7.2.1 Suspend future riding privileges for a definite or indefinite period;
3.7.2.2 Notify appropriate law enforcement agency(s) and pursue arrest and criminal prosecution of the offending passenger;
3.7.2.3 Pursue any legal action as required;
3.7.2.4 Contact appropriate school authorities where applicable;
3.7.2.5 Issue a warning letter or notification;
3.7.2.6 Determine that no further action is required.

3.8 Surveillance
3.8.1 To further the health, safety and welfare of drivers and passengers, WestCAT may, at its election, equip some or all of its vehicles with video and/or audio equipment. Said equipment shall be used solely in connection with the furtherance of the above policies, and for no other purpose.

3.9 Consistency
3.9.1 The above policies shall be enacted and enforced consistent with all applicable federal and state applicable laws.

3.10 Pre-existing Policies
3.10.1 These rules and policies memorialize existing policies and procedures in use by WestCAT. To the extent that such policies have been modified or amended by these rules, these rules are controlling.

Availability of Policies

Copies of these rules and policies are also available for review during business hours at WestCAT. Copies of such rules shall be made available to any passenger upon request without charge.