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Thread: DART Bus: CALL COPS

  1. #1
    Uptown - McKinney Ave
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    DART Bus: CALL COPS

    I passed a DART bus today and all the screens on it were saying "CALL COPS CALL 911" over and over again, even the little screen on the back. The bus was moving and didn't look like it was making an attempt to pull over. At first I thought it was some sort of pubic service announcement but then I realized that the bus was literarily saying if you see this sign, call 911 there is an emergency on the bus.

    It was all rather odd. Obviously I dialed 911, they transfered me to DART police saying they already knew about it.

    Is this really a thing? I know all the busses have GPS and are linked up by radio and such to DART headquarters but is this like the bus equivalent of a silent alarm? After I dialed 911 I realized that I didn't even get the bus number just what road it was on going which direction, had I known that this was a potential real emergency type situation I would have followed it for a second to get the bus number.

    Does anyone know what the deal is with this sort of thing?

  2. #2
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    That's very interesting, and I can imagine it would be a good thing to have as a silent alarm for situations. I wonder if the DART trains have them as well.

  3. #3
    FKA Ninjatune Justin Terveen's Avatar
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    Sounds like a marquee malfunction... I know they'll occasionally skitz out, or just stop working, but I've never seen a distress signal before... Cool.

  4. #4
    FKA Ninjatune Justin Terveen's Avatar
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    Well, I certainly hope it was a malfunctioning marquee... What could you gather from DART's response?

  5. #5
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMcKee
    After I dialed 911 I realized that I didn't even get the bus number just what road it was on going which direction, had I known that this was a potential real emergency type situation I would have followed it for a second to get the bus number.
    As far as not knowing the bus number goes, I know that the vast majority of DART buses are equipped with GPS equipment. So, if you give the approximate location (i.e. street name/intersection) then the DART dispatch should be able to find the bus from there.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Speedbump Joey's Avatar
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    I have seen it before on other buses.

  7. #7
    Just kidding (80%) art_suckz's Avatar
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    I saw this same thing last week. I stopped next to the bus at the next stop light and everything appeared fine inside the bus so I called DART's emergency line (not 911) and gave them the bus #. The phone operator didn't seemed very worried (or interested) and said she would notify the bus.
    "I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."

  8. #8
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    The first time I saw it was years ago, probably in the '90s -- it was before the cell phone era. I followed the bus all the way down I-30 from East Dallas, hoping that if something went crazy wrong, I would be in a position to help -- maybe I could find a pay phone (since those things still existed then). I followed it straight through downtown, down I-35E... and to the Oak Cliff bus barn.

    I suspect there's some sort of easily-triggered button that is intended to silently display the "911" message, like a bank's silent alarms. Or maybe someone put "emergency" next to "garage" on the selection screen. In any case, it's about as useful as a car alarm at this point -- when's the last time you called the cops because someone's car alarm went off?
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  9. #9
    FKA Ninjatune Justin Terveen's Avatar
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    A hi-jacked DART bus VS. your busted Honda Accord's window. Didn't you see "Speed"?

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