S.F. Bay Area Driver Shortage, Canceled Trips and Routes
San Francisco Bay Area transit operators are grappling with a shortage of bus drivers, leading agencies such as SamTrans to cancel hundreds of trips in recent months and even shut down a route, writes Nico Savidge.
"The problem isn’t limited to public transit either — Bay Area school districts have similarly struggled to find drivers amid a tight labor market, high cost of living and competition with charter companies and tech-industry shuttles," reports Savidge.
SamTrans is stepping up recruiting and training efforts in order to fill positions as drivers retire. AC Transit is partnering with local organizations to find new drivers. In the Santa Clara Valley, VTA is using its mentoring program and working with its drivers’ union to help with recruiting.
"[John Courtney of Amalgamated Transit Union local 265 in San Jose] said he would 'certainly' support a measure like the one San Francisco voters just approved taxing ride-hailing companies to fund better public transportation and hire new drivers," adds Savidge.