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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Southern Nevada bus drivers say their health and safety is taking a back seat

Credit: KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas
Duration: 05:20s 0 shares 1 views
Southern Nevada bus drivers say their health and safety is taking a back seat
Southern Nevada bus drivers say their health and safety is taking a back seat

Since the public health crisis began, bus drivers continue coming to work every day, saying their concerns are being ignored and their safety is taking a back seat.

They turned to 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears for help.

WORK EVERY DAY, DESPITE THERISKS.THEIR JOBS ARE ESSENTIAL....BUT THEY'RE NOT STAYING QUIETANY MORE.13 CHIEF INVESTIGATOR SHOWSYOU..THEY FEEL LIKE THEIR SAFETY ISTAKING A BACK SEAT.AND THESE DRIVERS ARE COMING TOWORK ON A DAILY BASIS IN FEAROF THEIR LIVES AND IN FEAR OFTAKING THE DISEASE HOME TOTHEIR FAMILIES.THIS GROUP OF DRIVERS IS SO FEDUP, THEY SHOWED UP IN FORCE,DETERMINED TO BE HEARD.WE'RE THE ONES THAT MOVE THISCITY.AND EVERYBODY IS JUST LOOKINGOVER US AND IGNORING US.RTC BUS DRIVERS WORK FOR ONE OFTWO SUB- CONTRACTORS, KEOLISTRANSIT OR MV TRANSPORTATION.THIS GROUP REPRESENTS BOTH ANDBOTH SAY THEY'RE HAVING THESAME PROBLEMS.FOR STARTERS, THEY SAY THEBUSES ARE DIRTY.THAT BUS CAN BE OUT ON ROUTE 20HOURS BEFORE IT EVEN GETS BACKTO THE YARD.ONLY THEN DOES IT GET CLEANEDBY A CONTRACTED JANITORIALSERVICE.YOU'RE TELLING US THE BUS ISCLEAN AND SANITIZED BUT WHEN ADRIVER GETS ON YOU GOT ATRASHCAN FULL OF TRASH.YOU GO IN THE BACK THERE'STRASH IN THE BACK OF THE BUS.DRIVERS SAY THEY HAVE TO PICKUP THE SLACK.DRIVERS, ARE YOU GUYS WIPINGSTUFF DOWN?

(MURMURS FROM CROWDENDING WITH: WITH OUR OWNPERSONAL STUFF, DISINFECTING,USING WIPES.) DRIVERS SAYTHEY'RE ISSUED ONE PAIR OFGLOVES PER 8-HOUR SHIFT.AS FOR HAND SANITIZER...THEY'VE GIVEN US ONE BOTTLE OFSANITIZER WHEN THIS FIRSTSTARTED.AND IT'S NOT THE GALLON JUGSYOU MIGHT EXPECT.YOU'RE SHOWING ME A TINYBOTTLE...THAT'S NOT IT?!THAT'S IT!

AND THEN THEY TOLDTHAT TINY THING IS WHAT YOUGOT?

THAT'S WHAT WE GOT.SHE SAID KEOLIS OFFERED REFILLSFOR A TIME BUT THEY'VE SINCERUN OUT.NEITHER MV NOR KEOLIS WOULDAGREE TO AN INTERVIEW.BOTH SENT STATEMENTS SAYINGDRIVERS ARE PROPERLY PROTECTEDWITH GLOVES AND SANITIZER.SOME WERE GIVEN MASKS TOO.MV HAD THIS TO SAY IN ITSSTATEMENT.THEY PLACED A NATIONAL ORDERAND THE LAS VEGAS SUPPLY OF140,000 MASKS WILL ARRIVETODAY.(LAUGHTER)TODAY?THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID AS OF9:28 AMDID THEY KNOW YOU WAS COMINGOUT HERE TODAY?YES THEY DID.OK, THAT'S WHY.FOSTER BELIEVES IT ALL COMESDOWN TO ONE THING.IT'S MONEY OVER SAFETY.BUT SOME OTHER SAFETY STEPSHAVE BEEN TAKEN.RIDERS NOW ENTER BUSES THROUGHREAR DOORS AS PART OF AN EFFORTTO ELIMINATE CLOSE CONTACTBETWEEN DRIVERS AND CUSTOMERS.BUT EVEN THAT'S NOT ALWAYSPOSSIBLE.DRIVERS HAVE TO HOOK UPWHEELCHAIRS.WHICH INVOLVES A FOUR STRAPSYSTEM THAT REQUIRES DRIVERS TOTOUCH THOSE PASSENGERS AND THEWHEELS OF THEIRCHAIRS.WE SUGGESTED TO RTC THAT THEPARATRANSIT VANS PICK THEWHEELCHAIRS UP FROM THE BUSSTOP.HE SAYS PARATRANSIT IS BETTEREQUIPPED TO HANDLE PASSENGERSWITH DISABILITIES.RTC WASN'T IN AGREEMENT WITHIT.DID THEY SAY WHY?THEY DIDN'T SAY WHY.IN THEIR STATEMENT, KEOLIS SAIDTHEY MUST COMPLY WITH THEAMERICANS WITH DISABILITIESACT.GENERAL MANAGER MARC PERLAWROTE: "WE UNDERSTAND THATSECURING PASSENGERS INWHEELCHAIRS IN THIS UNCERTAINTIME IS A CHALLENGINGSITUATION." ADDING THAT THEY'RE"WORKING WITH MEMBERS OF THEDISABLED COMMUNITY AND DRIVERSTO RESOLVE THE ISSUE."THIS IS STUFF THAT'S BROUGHT UPON A WEEKLY BASIS AND WE GETTHE SAME ANSWERS-WE'RE GONNALOOK INTO IT.FOSTER SAYS THE NUMBER OFPASSENGERS ALLOWED ON BUSESKEEPS CHANGING AND SOCIALDISTANCING IS IMPOSSIBLE.AND THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE YOUMIGHT NOT THINK ABOUT.TAKE A LOOK AROUND ME.WHAT YOU DON'T SEE IS ABATHROOM BECAUSE THERE ARE NONEAT RTC BUS STOPS AND WITH SOMANY BUSINESSES SHUTTERED,THERE'S NOWHERE TO STOP ALONGTHE WAY, WHICH PRESENTS APARTICULAR PROBLEM FOR THEFEMALE DRIVERS.DRIVERS LIKE ELLEN BROWN...I WAS IN TEARS.MY BACK WAS HURTING.AND MARLISS BOWSKY.I DRANK A HALF A BOTTLE OFWATER IN AN 8-HOUR SHIFTBECAUSE I'M SCARED TO DRINKBECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVETO USE THE BATHROOM.WHEN WE ADDRESS THIS WITH THECOMPANY IT'S ALWAYS, "I'MLOOKING INTO IT." WE HADDRIVERS THAT HAD TO GO BEHINDBUILDINGS-FEMALES GOING BEHINDBUILDINGS OR WHEREVER THEY CANFIND TO STOP AND USE THERESTROOM.BUT THEY'RE "LOOKING INTO IT."MV SAYS IT'S "IDENTIFIEDSPECIFIC LOCATIONS IN THECOMMUNITY WHERE OPERATORS AREABLE TO USE THE RESTROOM."EITHER THE STORES ARE CLOSED ORTHEY TELL YOU THAT YOU CANNOTUSE THEIR BATHROOMS, OR THEYPUT AN OUT OF SERVICE SIGN ONTHEIR RESTROOMS SO THAT YOUCAN'T USE IT.KEOLIS SAID IT'S "STAGINGAUXILIARY OPERATORS WITH A CARAT KEY LOCATIONS" SO DRIVERSCAN "SWAP AND TAKE THE CAR OR ASPARE BUS TO A KNOWN BATHROOMLOCATION."AS A DRIVER, THAT HAS NOT BEENMY CASE.THEY SAY SAFETY IS COMPROMISEDAS WELL.IT'S TURNED INTO A HOMELESSSHELTER AT NIGHT.I'M A NIGHT DRIVER.ME TOO!

IT'S TURNED INTO AHOMELESS SHELTER!YOU HAVE THE ESSENTIAL PEOPLETHAT ARE TRYING TO GO TO WORKCAN'T GET ON THE BUS BECAUSEWE'RE THE HOMELESS SHELTER NOW.57:44 WE GOT PEOPLE THROWINGBRICKS AT THE BUS BECAUSE THEYTHE WAY THE UNION SEES THAT?THEY'RE SWEEPING IT UP UNDERCONCERNS HAVE FALLEN ON DEAFEARS.WE'RE GOING TO SEE WHAT WE CANDO TO GET THEM SOME ANSWERS.DARCY SPEARS, 13 INVESTIGATES.CLARK COUNTY IS GETTING HELPFROM NON-PROFITS TO HELP EASE

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