All BC Transit buses across the province are expected to be retrofitted with full driver doors by fall 2020.
In a statement released on Thursday, the crown corporation announced that it had entered into an approximately $850,000 agreement with AROW Global Corporation, the company producing the doors and Kodiak Mobile Video Installations, the company installing the products.
Full driver doors include a transparent piece of laminated tempered glass with anti-glare coating and metal base, and is designed to increase protection for drivers.
Windows on these doors can be adjusted by drivers for sight lines associated with different seat positions.
“We thank AROW Global for agreeing to increase production and reducing lead time to support an accelerated implementation schedule in light of COVID-19,” reads the statement from the crown corporation.
“All future new buses in the fleet will arrive with the door pre-installed.”
This third party agreement will allow an accelerated installation of full driver doors on bus fleets outside of Victoria and the Regional District of Nanaimo. Fleets in Victoria and Nanaimo are currently being equipped with the doors by BC Transit in house.
Door installations through the third party vendors in Abbotsford and Chilliwack began in early May, with the fleet in Kelowna next in line.
The transportation company will resume front door boarding and fare collection on June 1 after providing over two months of free service in an effort to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission to the drivers and passengers at the height of the pandemic.
Buses still awaiting full driver doors starting June 1 will have a temporary vinyl panel installed for safety purposes.
BC Transit expects that a total 633 buses across the province will be retrofitted by fall 2020.