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ABQ RIDE Employees Sewing Hundreds of Face Coverings for Drivers

Mayor Keller helped hand out the first batch of face coverings to help limit the spread of the virus

April 14, 2020

ABQ RIDE has provided fixed route and Sun Van drivers with another tool to keep themselves and passengers healthy, courtesy of other ABQ RIDE employees. On April 13, thanks to ABQ RIDE staff members who dedicated time to sewing face coverings, Mayor Tim Keller and Transit staff were able to distribute the first batch of face coverings for drivers.

The previous week, Mayor Keller, Gov. Lujan-Grisham and the Center for Disease Control encouraged everyone to begin wearing face coverings when it is necessary for them to go out in public, including essential workers. Any two-ply cloth worn over the nose and mouth can help limit the ability for infected people, even those who are not showing symptoms, to spread the virus to others.

“We encourage all riders to stay home unless you are traveling for essential reasons,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We’re grateful to the Transit employees showing up every day to help the people who count on us, from folks who have no other way to get groceries, get to medical appointments or pick up grab-and-go meals. The CDC recommends people wear any face covering with two layers of fabric in public. Volunteers have stepped up to sew masks for our drivers to help slow the spread of coronavirus.”

“One of ABQ RIDE’s administrative assistants in the Maintenance Division is a master seamstress, and made dozens of masks, with more on the way to be distributed to drivers on the front lines of transporting the public who are making necessary trips to work as essential employees, for food, or to a medical appointment. Along with help from Customer Service staff who cut patterns for the masks, we also got contributions from different groups in the community” said Danny Holcomb, Transit Director. 

Of course, nothing replaces the important actions of staying home, washing your hands, coughing into your elbow and aggressive social distancing as far as reducing the spread.

ABQ RIDE encourages riders to stay home if you are not traveling for work related to an essential business, or for urgent personal business like a medical appointment. We need to keep our limited capacity available for people who must travel.

As a reminder, specially designed masks for doctors and nurses should not be used by members of the public to ensure there are as many as possible for front-line health care workers and first responders. A bandana, homemade fabric mask, scarf, ski mask, or other cloth barrier with two layers of fabric can help prevent those who have mild or no COVID-19 symptoms from unknowingly spreading the virus to others.

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ABQ RIDE is Albuquerque‘s principal form of public transportation.  It daily logs an average of 160,000 Passenger Miles on its buses.