Denver Bus Driver Shortage Disrupting Service
Denver's RTD needs staff. "The agency is short 127 bus drivers and 47 train operators," David Sachs reports for Streetsblog Denver. The city's expensive housing and tight labor market (2.2% unemployment) have made it hard for agency to hire and retain drivers.
That lack of staff has translated to a growing number service failures. "August saw 775 hours worth of bus runs that should’ve happened but didn’t, RTD documents show. That figure doubled in September. October saw 1,105 lost hours — a 67 percent increase over the same month last year," Sachs reports. When buses might not come, people feel they can’t depend on public transit, even if the system makes the runs 99% of the time.
Football season has brought the issue to a head, because when fans need more transit to get back and forth from games, the city's already-limited staff gets stretched. "Lost service hours spike at the start of the National Football League season and when the Broncos play home games, RTD documents show," writes Sachs.