The City of Albuquerque and APD will be coordinating a two-month long awareness campaign to get drivers ready for the full operation of ART. ABQ RIDE drivers are set to begin training in the ART buses on Monday, July 22. If you drive on Central Avenue between Coors and Louisiana, you’ve likely seen drivers crossing over the ART lanes to make turns onto or off of Central Avenue.
APD will begin educating drivers who are improperly using the ART lanes with warnings, in an effort to give drivers as much lead time as possible to get used to the inclusion of buses in the ART lanes on Central Avenue.
“Today, we are beginning a coordinated public outreach campaign to educate drivers about staying out of the ART lanes. As we prepare for full operation, we want drivers to be ready for the new normal along the corridor,” stated Lawrence Rael, Albuquerque’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re starting now to give drivers as much lead time as possible to get used to the new flow of traffic. What better way to do it than with buses actually in the ART lanes during driver training.”
According to APD, this is about driver safety education, not enforcement. “We haven’t been giving warnings or tickets so far, because ART buses haven’t been using the corridor. Now that they’ll be running the full route on a regular basis, drivers can keep themselves and bus drivers safe by learning how to drive alongside the buses,” said Traffic Commander Donovan Rivera of APD. “During training, we’ll only issue warnings to remind people of the proper use of the lanes and why it keeps them as well as ART drivers and passengers safe.”
After training ends, APD will issue tickets to drivers violating the ART lanes, with fines of $80 for failing to obey the “Bus Only” signs, or for crossing the double white line. It is possible for drivers to incur fines for both infractions at the same time.
-Driver training will consist of: Docking at the stations
-Adjusting to the height of the ART platfor-Using the doors on both sides of the bus.
-Deploying the bridge plates for wheelchairs
-Testing of Transit Signal Priority along the corridor
-Testing the automatic wheelchair restraint
As a reminder, message boards will be deployed along the nine mile long ART corridor for the first few weeks of the trainings to remind drivers to “Stay in Your Lane.”
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