New Orleans RTA installs barriers on buses in response to COVID-19

April 9, 2020
The barriers were designed and constructed by RTA maintenance crews.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) began installation of Plexiglas barriers on its bus fleet to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

RTA says these barriers will give operators an additional level of protection as the agency remains operational to provide essential service to the community.

“Installing Plexiglas barriers is one of the many mitigations the RTA is making to protect our operators as we navigate this pandemic together,” said RTA CEO Alex Wiggins. “The ingenuity and resourcefulness of our teams is remarkable as the agency works to maintain a level of mobility for essential travel in New Orleans.”

RTA, with the help of its operating contractor Transdev, began work on additional safety measures that could be deployed in addition to frontline staff wearing N95 masks and nitrile gloves during their daily shifts. Maintenance teams began fabricating Plexiglas barriers to enclose the operators compartment on all buses. The maintenance crews, comprised of skilled artisans who typically build and maintain the historic fleet of streetcars, designed the barriers which help to provide an added level of protection for bus operators who continue to transport riders to essential destinations.

These barriers are installed on the entire bus fleet as a measure to keep riders and operators safe. The materials are locally sourced and completely constructed in-house. Each barrier takes the team about two hours to install and can be easily cleaned during the daily vehicle disinfecting.

While many New Orleanians are under the statewide Stay at Home mandate, transit continues to operate in the New Orleans area. With a 50 percent reduction in service and a stark decline in ridership, the New Orleans RTA says it has had to be inventive in finding new and innovative ways to keep riders and operators safe as they conduct essential travel.