TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane has called for an internal audit of overtime hours and promised to make fighting driver fatigue a top priority after an investigation by The Oregonian exposed what he calls "glaring" shortcomings.
On Sunday, the newspaper reported that many bus operators work up to 22 hours in a 24-hour period to fill open shifts and make overtime. The eight-month examination also uncovered cases of riders, motorists and TriMet supervisors reporting operators nodding off behind the wheel.
Among other incidents, the operator of a Yellow Line MAX fell asleep at the controls and crashed the 100-ton train at the Expo Center in October 2011. The operator told The Oregonian that he was working with chronic fatigue at the time.