A Ride Along with an MTS Road Supervisor

Lewis stands next to a road supervisor car
Road Supervisor Lewis has been with MTS since 2008

Ever wondered what those MTS or TransDev marked cars you see along the bus routes are? Or who goes out and puts notices on the stops to alert riders to construction detours? That would be our team of road supervisors! We took a spin around the city with Lewis – an 11-year veteran of MTS who told us all about what road supervisors are faced with during the day.

His day starts bright and early at 3:30am so he can be available for the busy commuting hours of 5-9am. And what can happen in that time? You name it! Accidents, passenger incidents, construction detours… Lewis handles it all. Any time a bus is having mechanical difficulty a supervisor is there to help. Anytime an operator witnesses an accident and needs to remain on the scene as a witness, a supervisor is there to get passengers moved onto a new bus and keep them on the road.

Generally, there are 3-5 road supervisors on the road at a time for each division. Supervisors are frequently called upon to work with other agencies like the California Highway Patrol, the San Diego Police Department, and emergency crews. But other times, they need to do something as simple as help bus drivers navigate new obstacles in the road – like this tricky turn from Genesee Ave. into the UTC Transit Center. The construction of the Mid-Coast Trolley extension has created a very narrow turn that takes focus to execute with a bus full of passengers!

You might also see supervisors stopped at busy transit centers like Old Town or UTC ready to help passengers find their way and answer any questions. They’re also out in force for large events like December Nights or the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon to keep buses moving on schedule and minimize delays to riders.

In our two-hour ride along with Lewis we saw a lot of the city. We went from Downtown to Old Town to Fashion Valley to UTC to the El Cajon Boulevard Transit Plaza staying on the move in case we were needed. We didn’t get to see much action on this trip, but we’ll be back to check in with our Road Supervisor Team and give our riders a closer look at what kinds of things go on every day at MTS!

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