There’ll be no summer expansion of routes for Lane Transit District’s bus fleet this year. A primary factor is a shortage of new bus operators.
Eugene joins a number of cities facing a deficit in their public transit ranks.
“San Francisco, Seattle, Cincinnati, Dayton Ohio, Augusta Georgia, Denver, New York City,” Pat Walsh ticked off. He's the public information officer for the LTD.
Walsh says they currently have 158 professional bus operators, including ones previously furloughed or laid off last year during the pandemic. But with many retiring soon, LTD needs to hire and train at least 20 to maintain service levels.
"It’s really a job of public service, and it’s vital to the coverall economic and social health of our community.”
Walsh says it takes five months to train a qualified candidate. The beginning wage in Eugene for bus operators is $20.74 an hour, with benefits.
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