Work Stories (Pt.2)- Tram-saster at the TTC!

Last time you heard about how I saved the lives of nearly 500 people (no, really. Read about it here!) but this time I’m going to talk about a story-turned-legend that occurred just days before I arrived at the TTC. Now, because I wasn’t there, I have only pieced this story together through word of mouth and I am certain that I won’t do the tale any justice, however, I’ll try my best…

It was a dark and stormy evening…wait. No, that’s not it…

It was a busy night like any other at the TTC, and the trams were buzzing (more like roaring) back and forth returning sleepy guests to their cars after a long day of playing in the parks. It’s worth noting that the college program students who were involved on this night had only been there for a couple of weeks, and handled themselves very well despite their lack of experience. Brittney and her driver had just switched spots after pulling into the Heroes load zone, and with a full tram ready to depart, Brittney cleared her tram for dispatch. She was no further along than a few yards however when her tram lost pressure and they became stuck between the two load zones. Now, if you don’t know how the TTC is set up, please take a moment to observe my crude diagram made in MS Paint at this time.

As you can see, the sides are color coordinated, Heroes being blue and Villains red. The X’s mark where trams will stop to load and pick up guests or stop to wait for another tram to leave. The circles in the middle represent planters, an important player in this story. My super awesome and accurate drawing does not depict it well, but there is room for three trams to fit side by side between the Villains load zone and the planter, though it would be a tight squeeze. The next drawing will show what happened to the two trams involved in the Tram-saster.
So assuming that Brittney’s tram is the purple one and Chantal’s is orange, you can visualize the chain of events. Soon after taking off, Brittney’s purple tram broke down with a full load of guests, but just past the turning point for the Villain’s load zone. This was good news because it meant that Villain’s trams could still come and go (the red dashed line) and even Heroes’ trams could leave as well, they just had to take a sharp right turn to clear the rear end of the broken tram. As I said before, there was enough room for one more tram between Brittney and the planter to her right, so this was the alley which Heroes’ trams were using and which Chantal, in the orange tram, was supposed to pull up into. From there the guests would have transferred trams and been on their merry way. I mentioned in a previous post, but the trams have bumpers that bring the tram to a stop if they hit anything, and that’s what brought about Chantal’s demise. As she rounded the planter at the end of the Heroes’ load zone, her tram got caught on the edge and activated the emergency stop. Luckily, her tram was empty so no one was injured. Also, she wasn’t far enough into her turn to block the Heroes’ load zone from baording, and fortunately there is one more planter (not shown) to the far left that allowed the Heroes’ trams to continue operating. With two trams down, a busy load zone, and a very shaken driver, the coordinators had their hands full for a while. Brittney kept her guests calm as they began to wonder what was taking so long, and Chantal received a well-deserved break (I had to pull a similar maneuver later in my program and while I was successful, I was nervous the entire time I was moving the tram. It’s stressful to be in charge of such a large vehicle.) Coordinator Jeff and manager Javi kept cool heads and dealt with one issue at a time, first making sure that everyone was safe, and then working on a solution to move the two broken trams. It wasn’t long before everyone was back on their way and things were once again running smoothly.

While this Tram-saster gave Chantal a good shake, she was easily one of the better drivers by the end of her program. She bounced back well and she overcame her fears, and we were all so proud of her for that (even me, who wasn’t there to see it all happen.) The lot was always an unpredictable adventure- we braved the elements and reckless drivers, we controlled large machinery that sometimes seemed to have a life of its own, and we had to work together as a team to come out on the other side of every shift. We all messed up and made stupid mistakes, but one of the things that made my time so special in the parking lot was that we all stuck together like family, no matter what.

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