Bus Operations staff resumes guide dog training

Guide dog group

On Oct. 19, Bus Operations training staff worked with Boulder Puppy Raisers, an organization that trains guide dogs for the blind, to orient its animals with the experience of being up close with a bus. About 20 dogs and their handlers practiced getting on and off two regional buses at the Broomfield Park-n-Ride, and then the group took a ride to the Longmont Park-n-Ride for more work. The dogs were exposed to vehicle sounds such as air brakes, practiced getting on and off a lift, and shown how to sit beneath the seats.

“They did really well,” said Bus Operations travel training instructor Dan French, who was joined for the session by bus operator instructor Daniel Yazzie. French called this type of training “my favorite part of my job. It’s beneficial for people who are blind to be able to go places with their guide dog and not feel intimidated or have any problems.”

Much of this training was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Bus Operations staff expressed elation about being able to resume this work. The team carries a passion for it, said Bus Operator Training Manager Loradeane Clinkenbeard, who noted that training centers on the goal that “everyone has freedom to ride.” She added: “We have a passion in our department. If we can connect with our community, with people with disabilities, and help them understand how we can make their lives better, we’re all in.”