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Here is a list of terminology frequently used around CPTDB and in the transportation/transit industry.


  • Widespread Use
  • Amount of minutes ahead of schedule. Also known as hot.

Accessibility Violation

  • A non-accessible bus on a fully accessible route.

Badge Number

  • Widespread Use
  • Identification number for transit employees that is assigned either yearly or at hiring.

Curtain (destination sign)

  • Widespread use
  • Term referring to roll destination signs. Materials may include cloth or mylar, dependent on the age of the sign used.


  • Vehicle storage and maintenance location (see Garage)


  • Vehicle storage and maintenance location (see Garage)


  • Widespread Use
  • Amount of minutes behind schedule.

Extra Violation

  • A bus from a certain garage being used as an extra on a route that its home garage does not typically serve.

Fisher Price

  • A reference to the late Thomas SLF-230/235.

Flip dot (also flip-disc)

  • Widespread use
  • An earlier form of the electronic destination sign, in which the sign message has the opportunity to change while in use. The flip-disc display consists of a grid of small metal discs that are black on one side and a bright color on the other (typically white or day-glo yellow), set into a black background. With power applied, the disc flips to show the other side. Once flipped, the discs will remain in position without power.[1] Many agencies are switching to an LED-based destination sign, which the message is made of individual lights, instead of a light illuminating a message. Notable flip-dot destination sign manufacturers included Vultron and Luminator, among others.


  • Widespread Use
  • Vehicle storage and maintenance location.


  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: techincal term denoting the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer; including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers, and cargo but excluding that of any trailers. The term is used for motor vehicles and trains. (Wikipedia)

Hot (runnning)

  • Driver operating ahead of designated schedule time. In many cases, the driver could receive a verbal or written reprimand, and in some cases, a day off without pay. Repeated "hot" operation can sometimes result in termination of employment.

Idiot seat

  • Widespread Use
  • The front right seat on high floor buses, closest to the front door. Also known as the Jump Seat in Edmonton. Referred to by operators. [1]

Inert Roll Sign

  • A roll sign that is set to a blank exposure due to driver laziness or a general malfunction.

Key Number

  • Denotes the particular bus on a route.

Large & Rarely-Filled

  • An old reference to the late TMC RTS and how they operated through suburban Detroit nearly completely empty. Used in the run-up to the 1995 millage proposal, no longer as common today.


  • Widespread Use
  • A break or rest taken by the operator. Also known as a lay up in some transit systems.

Mother-In-Law Seat

  • Refers to the single seating in configurations with double seating on one side of the bus and single seating along the other side. (2-1 seating)


  • A driver's schedule that tells them the correct time at which they should be at certain locations, and destination sign codes.

Pre-Rapid Transit

  • Used to describe 7 day express routes which serve corridors which will eventually be served by rapid transit.

Recovery Time

  • Widespread use?
  • Refers to time placed into schedules on routes with high chances of delays due to traffic or construction. A minimum layover time may sometimes not be enough for drivers to adhere to, to keep on schedule.


  • A roundel is a circular disc used as a symbol. The term is used in heraldry but also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours. Other symbols also often use round shapes.[2]

Running Board

  • A driver's schedule that tells them the correct time at which they should be at certain locations, and destination sign codes.

Run Guide

  • A driver's schedule that tells them the correct time at which they should be at certain locations, and destination sign codes.

Run Number

  • Widespread Use
  • Number for a particular bus on a route.
  • Number for an operator's piece of work.
  • Also referred to as "block".


  • Recently used term refers to a driver who is pulling into garage, returning into service to "help out" on a line short of drivers. Normally, the bus doesn't operate according to a specified schedule, because the driver's purpose is to transport passengers who would otherwise be stranded or waiting a long time for the next scheduled bus.


  • Commuter trains with cab control units, specifically references to those at the leading end.

Short Turn

  • Widespread Use
  • A run that does not complete the entire route. Short turns may be scheduled or unscheduled.

Silverside/Silver Side

  • Widespread Use
  • "New Look" General Motors bus, named due to many of the buses showing bare metal in the lower half of the bus.

Slide Seats

  • When an operator is behind schedule, and another operator begins the run at a terminus point. When the buses meet, the operators switch buses, making the original operator on time.

Swamp Buggy


  • Widespread Use
  • A location at the end of a bus route
  • Vehicle storage and maintenance location (see Garage)

Transit Cent(re/er)

  • Widespread Use
  • Central location where bus routes convene and passenger transfers take place
  • Vehicle storage and maintenance location (see Garage)

Turn 'N Burn

  • Operators have no set schedule, only a start and finish time. They are to drive as many trips as possible, spending as little time (or a pre-determined amount) as possible at termini.

War Wagon


  • Reference to normally non-scheduled service added to complement or increase capacity due to a specific time period. A wildcat can refer (as and example) to specially scheduled service during the Erie County Fair, to relieve pressure on an already busy bus corridor.


  • Time symbol for services between midnight and the end of service.

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