Mayor Gavin Buckley
Public Information Office
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or email@example.com
Annapolis City Transportation Will Equip City Transit Buses with “Sneeze Guard” Plexiglass Barriers
Annapolis (April 22, 2020) - The Annapolis Department of Transportation (ADOT) has come up with an innovative way to provide bus operators with additional protection while operating City of Annapolis transit buses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transportation Director Rick Gordon said, “after seeing the story about Jason Hargrove, the Detroit bus operator who lost his life to COVID-19, I challenged staff to come up with additional protective measures for operators.”
ADOT Bus operators are issued gloves, face coverings, and hand sanitizer.
Gordon said that in a cross-departmental collaboration, Adonis (Grip) Bishop, facility maintenance technician for the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW), came up with the idea of using plexiglass to separate the bus operator from passengers entering the bus.
Bishop cut the plexiglass so that it could be fitted around the driver’s cabin while not interfering with the driver or passengers entering the bus. The installation has begun on the small buses, starting with paratransit A similar solution will be outfitted for larger buses in the fleet.
Using plexiglass is significantly more cost-effective than purchasing and installing specially-designed equipment. Other transit agencies are using shower curtains. Gordon did not believe those met safety standards for operational effectiveness because it can impede visibility.
“Our City is working together to find innovative solutions,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “Every day we find ourselves confronted with new and seemingly insurmountable problems. A few days later someone in our City comes up with an answer. This is brilliant and I thank Director Gordon for crowdsourcing the solution and especially Mr. Bishop for figuring it out!”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, City of Annapolis Transportation transports patients to medical appointments and essential workers to jobs in the hospitality, service, and health care industries.
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City of Annapolis driver Jerry Lincoln with the plexiglass partition (outlined by blue tape). Photo courtesy City of Annapolis Department of Transportation.