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      Macomb bus drivers getting cross-trained

      Both city and school bus riders in Macomb will be much safer thanks to a new training program.

      Soon all the drivers of the city's Go West transit system and the school bus drivers will be cross-trained.

      Go West transit director Jude Kiah says that will mean increased safety for pedestrians and riders in the city.

      "We really take our pedestrian, our student safety seriously and this is a refocus on training our people, all simultaneously, all similarly so that we can maintain the level of safety that we've had here and enjoyed here in Macomb," Kiah said.

      The training will also give part time drivers the opportunity to pick up hours if they want them.

      "It is not uncommon in our practice here to have somebody bid maybe a morning a.m. and bus and have a lunch relief for us," Kiah said. "Without those certifications they can't do that."

      Go West safety and training supervisor Patrick White says that there are extra responsibilities when it comes to each type of bus.

      "Go West drivers being trained on school buses," White said. "They'll be trained to drive the school buses, children pick-ups and drop offs. The difference is not large, but it's a large enough difference that they need to be trained on each individual bus. School bus drivers coming over to drive Go West, mainly an airbrakes issue and the difference in the buses, they're a little bit different to drive."

      Jude Kiah says that the cross-training will also make it easier to make sure that all the school bus routes are covered.

      About two million people ride the Go West bus system per year.