When the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee was faced with protecting its drivers and passengers, officials turned to the Knox County Fleet Service Center for help.
Within days, two team members – Larry Fox and Bill Barnes – designed a way to install Lexan Barriers in the buses. Now the duo plans to spend part of the next three weeks outfitting roughly 40 buses with the clear, plastic barriers. They will place one sheet between the driver and the passenger seats and another between the passenger seats and the entrance door.
“Doing the work in-house definitely saves money. Even better is, though, that we are going to be able to reduce vehicle downtime for this very important essential service,” said Phillip May, fleet service manager for Knox County Engineering and Public Works.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs agreed.
“Many people are choosing to stay home and wait out the COVID-19 pandemic and that’s absolutely fine,” said Mayor Jacobs. “But it is imperative that we do everything we can to protect those in our vulnerable population who are ready to venture out and return to some semblance of their normal lives. I am grateful to our fleet service team for seeing a need and rising quickly to meet it.”
The Knox County Fleet Service Center provides maintenance and repairs for a fleet of 1,500 vehicles and equipment and services 120 departments.
The Knoxville-Knox County CAC is a local public agency that promotes family self-sufficiency and independent living for low-income and other vulnerable people through caring and efficient delivery of needed services and the development of partnerships at all levels.
Abbey Harris is deputy director of communications for Knox County.