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Source: US Amalgamated Transit Union

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A group of Rockford Mass Transit District bus drivers say increase ridership and a lack of precautions have them fearing for their safety. However,e the agency says it is doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Some drivers tell us more about what they call “simple requests.”

“We’re sitting doomed,” said ATU Local 1333 President Jodi Wiliams. “We need help.”

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the community, RMTD bus drivers fear for their safety.

“We’re scared. There’s a lot of fear going on along the drivers. They’re asking the union ‘what do we do?’” Williams said.

ATU Local 1333 Union President and bus driver Jodi Williams shares that 12 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

“It is an unsafe work environment to be out there the kind of busses that we have, the airflow even with the HVAC system that they have the airflow all goes to the driver,” she added.

Williams and Vice President of the local union, Wiliam Favretto believe their requests for drivers’ safety is simple. They propose fewer riders and read door boarding.

“We want our numbers lowered because not only does it help the community, but it does help the employees of RMTD,” explained Williams.

“You have funds that you have been given and we don’t see the results of those funds expediently being used for our safety as our workers continually test positive,” said Favretto.

Right now, buses are allowed to have up to 32 passengers. In a statement, RMTD says it shared it’s equipment and cleaning procedures with the Winnebago County Health Department to establish a maximum ridership capacity.

See their full response below:

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