ABQ RIDE sells bus to CNM Ingenuity for CDL training

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is working to fill open ABQ RIDE positions by collaborating with the CNM Ingenuity Commercial Driver’s License program.

The City of Albuquerque sold one of its buses to CNM so students seeking a CDL Class B license can train on it. “We’ve had a shortage of employees here at ABQ RIDE for both of our driver staff and our vehicle maintenance staff. So this was just one way for us to try and reach out and help to develop a workforce that then can come in and fill these jobs,” said Leslie Keener, transit director for ABQ RIDE.

ABQ RIDE currently has 94 motorcoach operator vacancies and 19 open vehicle mechanic positions. Kyle Lee, the CEO of CNM Ingenuity, said the ABQ RIDE bus is the first of its kind in CNM’s training fleet. “To have the actual buses that the city is also driving on the road just gives that much more experience and credibility to folks that graduate our program with those licenses,” said Lee.

The cost of the CDL Class B training program with a passenger endorsement at CNM is $3,100, not including additional fees for permits, licenses, and more. Students will go through a self-paced online module that takes 20 to 30 hours to complete before in-person training, which lasts four to five weeks.

Keener noted that ABQ RIDE does not require applicants to have a CDL license, as the city will provide CDL training to incoming drivers and mechanics. However, if applicants already have a CDL, it will shorten the training period, and they may be eligible for a new hire bonus of $5,000. Whereas, those applying for a motorcoach operator position without a CDL will get a $2,500 hiring incentive.

Lee encouraged people interested in the CDL program at CNM to look at funding opportunities that will cover the cost of training. To learn more, click here. He expects that students will be able to train on the ABQ RIDE bus in mid-to-late May.

Earlier this year, the city also provided a bus to Northern New Mexico College. Keener said the city is in the process of decommissioning its old diesel hybrid buses as it has acquired 35 new buses that use compressed natural gas (CNG) – a low-emission, alternative fuel.

To view jobs with the City of Albuquerque, click here.

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