ABQ Ride

NM: Driver Partitions Installed in Two ABQ Ride Buses

Passengers may notice something different when they board two, particular ABQ Ride buses around town starting Feb. 6. 

They’ll notice a partly-clear partition surrounding the bus driver; a partition that offers separation between drivers and passengers, but also allows drivers to still interact with passengers, see mirrors clearly and operate the bus comfortably.

Wisconsin-based Arow Global installed these partitions in an ABQ Ride 700-series bus and in a 900-series bus.  The partition is made mostly of tempered glass and smaller piece of clear polycarbonate. It can be opened, then closed like a door once the driver is buckled into the seat.

“At the suggestion of the bus drivers’ union and after seeing an example of a bus driver partition at a transit trade show, ABQ Ride contacted vendors and arranged for the installation on these two buses,” said Bruce Rizzieri, director of ABQ Ride. “This is a good example of management and union working together to benefit employees and the public.”

The Arow Global partition is similar to those installed or being tested on buses in New York City, Boston and Milwaukee.  It features an unobstructed line-of-sight for drivers to side mirrors and the bottom of the entrance door.  Drivers are also visible at all times to on-board security cameras.  The partitions can be custom-fitted onto any bus and cost about $4,000 apiece.

Once the partitions are installed and in-use on the two buses, ABQ Ride will gather input from bus drivers as well as passengers. The process may take about three weeks, but could be extended.

“This is a cost-effective way to see what our bus drivers and customers think before we consider putting partitions in additional buses,” Rizzieri said.