Transit authorities are public agencies formed by cities, counties and states to acquire and then operate and maintain transportation (buses, rails, street cars, etc.). State, county and city laws establish transit authorities for the convenience and safety of the public. The state and local...
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Transit authority locksmiths primarily establish and maintain master key systems while issuing keys and keeping related records.
Most requestors want their requests handled immediately. Realistically, because of the number of requests each day, everything must be prioritized.
Requests for services are discriminated as either emergency or routine services.
Emergency services are those that are immediately performed as they either present a safety problem or security failure.
Typical safety problems would be doors that lock persons into rooms or exit devices that do not release when the paddle or bar is pushed. Security issues relate to doors that will not latch or locks that have failed.
Routine calls are those where areas have to be rekeyed or a lock has failed but there are no safety or security issues.
Routine requests are further prioritized into three categories: requests that need to be performed soon; requests that need to be performed within a few weeks; and casual requests where there is no urgency.
Requests needing to be performed soon are those requests where business is inhibited until the request is performed. A typical example would be the rekey of a new storage room where nothing can be stored until the room is rekeyed.
Requests that need to be performed in a few weeks are those requests where business is not inhibited but it is reasonable to perform the service. A typical example of this would be the rekey of a room that is keyed different than other rooms that are keyed alike.
Casual requests where there is no urgency might be a request to rekey several desks alike. Many of these requests make persons happy but are do not necessarily improve the flow of business.
Most lock services performed throughout the authority are: lock repairs; lock cylinder and core servicing or rekeying; and opening locks without keys.
Many locks throughout the authority are frequently used and can therefore prematurely breakdown or need repair. For instance, restrooms used by bus drivers will be accessed hundreds of times a day. It is not uncommon for lock cylinders to wear out in months versus years. A transit authority may have hundreds of these types of doors so the chances are that one or more service calls (per day) will be to drill out a restroom lock cylinder.
Another daily request (or two) will have the locksmith replacing broken spindles and missing levers relating to mortise locksets.
Exit devices, closers and locks located within subways can prematurely breakdown due to constant pressure changes.
Trains that run through tunnels act like gigantic pistons so when rails are coming into platforms, doors are pushed closed with tremendous force. As trains leave the tunnel doors are thrown open with equal force.
Exit device fasteners can quickly vibrate loose under these conditions. The bolts that secure the exit trim are very vulnerable. Left in a loose condition, they can shear off.
With large transit authorities, there is at least one exit device repair per day. Vertical-rod exit devices seem to be more prone to failure.
Any transit authority will have thousands of padlocks. Each day there will be padlock issues regarding repairs, replacements, or rekeying.
Today's transit authorities gravitate to interchangeable core whenever possible.
There is always a lot of rekeying taking place in the lock shop and the only reasonable means to accomplish all of it is to use interchangeable cores.
There is a lot of office movement within transit authorities that add to the number of lock cylinders and cores rekeyed each day.
Adding to daily lock requests are all the cabinets, boxes, cases, and panels that are secured by utility, cam, and cabinet locks. In between the priority requests, these locks are being rekeyed or replaced.
Transit authority locksmiths are always busy and it becomes evident as to why they do not open vehicles, act as roving guards (opening offices), open safes, or service electric locks.
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