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Lane Transit District: We Need Operators

bus_operator_1.jpg
Pat Walsh
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Lane Transit District

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. 

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Credit Pat Walsh / Lane Transit District
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Lane Transit District
LTD EmX bus in West Eugene.

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.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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