Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works is converting existing operator cabin partitions on all Metrobuses into full enclosures
The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) is taking action to augment protections for its Metrobus operators and passengers by converting the current cabin partition for operators into a full-enclosure shield on all 767 Miami-Dade Transit buses.
“The health and safety of everyone in Miami-Dade County has been our top priority during this pandemic,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The new full-enclosure shields are another step forward in ensuring that both employees and riders are secure on Miami-Dade Transit buses. This helps get our local businesses up and running once again while providing a safe way for people to return to their jobs.”
The purpose of the extended enclosure is to further isolate the operator’s cabin from the public and increase safety protection for both passengers and employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This full enclosure will limit unnecessary interactions between operators and passengers.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have dedicated our time and resources to protecting our employees and riders,” said Alice N. Bravo, DTPW director. "We were among the first mass transit agencies in the nation to suspend fares and implement rear-door boardings on Metrobuses to limit unnecessary interactions with operators. Now as ridership has started to increase, we are enhancing our existing enclosures to provide further protections.”
The prototype for the operator enclosure was developed in-house by a collaborative team of DTPW technicians, supervisors, and managers for nine unique Metrobus cabin models. The polycarbonate material selected is high impact-resistant and meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. Two local vendors are manufacturing the polycarbonate shields, which are then delivered to the Metrobus maintenance facilities for installation by the department’s personnel.
The department expects manufacturing and installation to be completed for the entire fleet toward the end of August. Metrobus passengers have already begun to see buses with the new fully enclosed operator cabin.
On May 15, the department announced its plans for Phase I of the New Normal plan, which included increasing frequencies for Metrorail and Metromover, and supporting a high-frequency network of Metrobus routes. Transit fares and parking fees remain suspended and rear-door boarding remains in effect for buses.
Passengers riding with Miami-Dade Transit are required to wear a facial covering at all times while on board a vehicle or inside the system. Riders must also have their face covering on while waiting at bus stops or on the platform. Remember to wear your face mask over your nose and mouth. Violators are subject to removal from Miami-Dade Transit properties.
The department will continue to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Miami-Dade County to ensure the actions being taken are comprehensive and appropriate.
Customers and employees are advised to follow the New Normal guidelines, recommendations, and actions being taken by Miami-Dade County in response to COVID-19.
Visit miamdiade.gov/newnormal for the most recent reopening information.
Visit miamidade.gov/transit for more information and follow DTPW on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in-the-know for departmental updates. Download the GO Miami-Dade Transit app to plan and track your next trip on transit.
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