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Thread: A Tram Conductor's Perspective AV 2019

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    A Tram Conductor's Perspective AV 2019

    As always, I spent 9 glorious days volunteering in Oshkosh, meeting wonderful people from all over the world. I worked my 6 hour shifts, sometimes 10-12 hour ones, with absolute glee. Of the thousands of happy guests I had the privilege to entertain and inform on the tram I can honestly say I ran into less than a handful of knuckleheads. Almost an AirVenture record.

    Again this year, as has been the case for all my previous years 'on the job', my truly SOLE complaint/suggestion to EAA concerns informative signage, or more specifically the lack of it.

    Visitors really DO need to have the tram stops identified on BOTH sides of the road. Visitors really DO need to know where the trams go from each tram stop. Trying to read the sometimes confusing map to eke out specific tram travel details, especially on windy days, proves to be a major frustration and a form of information overload for our guests.

    ALL the conductors like myself, and often also the tractor drivers, spend an inordinate amount of time all day long, at every tram stop, answering "Where does this tram go?" and "How do I get to?" questions from folks that could be alleviated by simple location specific signs at each stop stating the destinations. Like this blue tram goes to ultralights, the next stop will be.... The yellow tram will stop at..... next. This red tram goes to Warbirds and...… You get the idea.

    Yes of course I know that people won't always read signs but maybe we could also offer at the entry gates a single info sheet explaining in simple terms "How to Get Around AirVenture" with a VERY basic less detailed map drawing showing the tram and bus routes? In truth there really aren't THAT many area "specific" destinations that interest our guests, and those could be highlighted on that simple map?

    I'll be back again next year, yapping on my microphone, and loving every second of the experience so it's no deal breaker ner nuthin', but getting around the massive grounds is not as simple to understand for the thousands of first-timers as it is for those of us who are here all the time. A little extra help for them would work wonders.

    Gotta go now and do a whole sack of laundry - lol - so I'll just close with "See ya' next year!"
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Low Pass's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    Houston
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    Thanks for your service!! I appreciate what you do to make my Oshkosh visit better. And, FWIW, I agree completely with your suggestion. A little more extensive signage would be helpful.
    Bryan

    Houston

  3. #3
    robert l's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
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    Heath Springs, S.C.
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    You have a great solution Randy, it is really confusing to a lot of us and I'm sure all you volunteers get a little tired answering the same questions over and over. But, all us regular folks sure do appreciate what you and all the other volunteers do, you provide a very much needed and appreciated service. Thank you, and I'm going to track you down one of these times if I have to spend all day on the trams !!!
    Bob

  4. #4

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    Well then, to tied you over till next year Robert - "I bought a cute Shetland pony a month ago, He was lookin' a little peekid and I though he might have a sore throat soi I called in the local vet. The vet checked him out and said 'No Randy, he's just a little hoarse.'"
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    Manassas, Virginia
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    Randy, those are all great points. As well as I know AirVenture I could still appreciate those signs and I know most people would appreciate them, too.

    A friend end of mine came up from Chicago on Thursday and he told me some corny joke a tram conductor made about a plane. I said, “Oh, you must have had Randy.”
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Gwinn, Michigan
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    Randy, you forgot to mention the mistaken tram colors caused by the yellow roof on the cars and the blue fringe on car sides. I have had to straighten more people out on this mix up and my conductor added it to her speech from day one (based on confusion from last year).

  7. #7

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    Aug 2016
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    The reason that the trams are identified solely by the pairs of different color pennants -one flying off the tractor and one at the rear of the tram - is so that trams can be used on any of the routes as needs dictate by simply cutting the tape holding the wooden dowel rods to which the pennants are attached and affixing a different colored pair.

    The Route Tram fleet 'size' can vary each day based on attendance and need (as well as the finite number of tram volunteers that day and each shift), also allowing for the occasional mechanical breakdowns or flat tires. Being able to quickly respond to those changes, regardless of route 'color', is crucial to the operation of the tram service.

    Once our guests recognize those colored pennants some of the confusion is gone..... though they still are not sure where each goes or which tram going which way will serve their immediate needs. Better signs and a single sheet handout would help a lot.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8

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    My conducting experience has taught that for ME the best way to answer the question "Where does this tram go?" is by asking "Where are YOU trying to go?"....which is really the info they want. Saves a little time each encounter which does add up over the course of a tram shift.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    56
    Thanks for what you do there Randy, all good suggestions. I did not ride the Trams, but "ran into" them many different times. Checked the name tags but did not see you to say hi. There is always next year.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Randy were you working the blue line this year with the joke that there are 2 types of people who want to ride my tram -- those who laugh at my jokes and those who walk?
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

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