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ABQ RIDE and Rio Metro Share Mechanic; Save on Costs

bus mechanic smTwo of the largest transportation entities in New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque Transit Department (ABQ RIDE) and Rio Metro Regional Transit District, often collaborate on a variety of projects. From “bus bridges”, which are ABQ RIDE buses transporting Rail Runner passengers to and from the Rail Runner when there is a rail emergency, to combined marketing efforts, the two agencies often work hand in glove to serve the metro area’s riders.

Now, their latest collaboration is the sharing of a full-time bus mechanic at ABQ RIDE’s Daytona facility, an arrangement that is helping both agencies cut down costs. Since February, 2017, Rio Metro has been funding a full-time, Mechanic III position to provide maintenance at Daytona for up to 15, 26 ft. Rio Metro buses. These buses serve Rio Metro routes in Bernalillo, Valencia and Sandoval Counties. If there are no Rio Metro buses in for maintenance at Daytona at any particular time, then this mechanic is able to work on ABQ RIDE fleet vehicles. Rio Metro reimburses ABQ RIDE for the cost of parts and other items ABQ RIDE uses for the maintenance of Rio Metro’s buses.

“This amounts to a win-win situation for both our agencies because otherwise, if Rio Metro sends its buses to a dealership for maintenance, that dealership would have to drug test its mechanics according to Federal Transit Administration guidelines,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “By sharing this service, that mechanic position is included in the City of Albuquerque’s FTA drug and alcohol testing.”

Director Rizzieri also said that under the arrangement, when a Rio Metro bus arrives at the Daytona facility, its information is entered into the Fleet Focus software program used by ABQ RIDE’s maintenance division. This also ensures that Rio Metro gets timely, detailed reports about repairs performed on their buses, as well as preventative maintenance reports.

“Rio Metro already contributes to ABQ RIDE’s fixed route service on a regular basis”, said Terry Doyle, Director of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District. “Being able to share a mechanic is a win-win situation for both agencies, and reflects the kind of interagency collaboration that provides meaningful outcomes for all.”

Story by: Rick DeReyes, ABQ RIDE and Augusta Meyers, Rio Metro RTD

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