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Trimet Reduces Bus Routes
Most severe bus operator shortage in it’s history

On Monday, Jan. 10, TriMet reduced services on 20 bus lines to address the most severe bus operator shortage in the agency’s history.

All affected lines will have buses coming less often on weekdays, and some may run fewer hours of the day. TriMet first announced the service reductions in early December.

The following lines will have a service reduction:

4, 8, 12, 15, 17, 21, 30, 33, 35, 52, 54, 56, 62, 67, 70, 71, 75, 76, 77, 78

Of these, lines 4, 12, 17, 21, 30, 33, 35, 52, 54, 56, 62, 67, 70, 71, 76, 77 and 78 will also have reduced hours of operation, which means buses may start later or end earlier in the service day.

Riders are encouraged to visit Trimet's website and plan any trips to see how the adjustments impact arrival, departure and transfer times.

Also, LIFT paratransit riders may experience longer ride times or differences in desired pickup or drop-off times, as the LIFT program provides service the same days and times as our fixed-route buses.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

TriMet says they are actively recruiting bus operators. They are offering newly hired operators a $2,500 hiring bonus, starting pay of $21.84 per hour and seven weeks of paid training. In addition to benefits including vacation, personal and sick time; health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance plans; and pension and retirement benefits, including a monthly employer retirement plan contribution of 8% of employee base pay. With pay increases guaranteed, full-time TriMet bus operators can achieve top pay in three years, earning an annual salary of at least $68,000 without overtime.

Training classes start every three weeks and can accommodate 26 people. For the past year, those classes have fallen short of that threshold, with as few as two or three people in some classes. All new operators must successfully complete the seven-week program, including receiving their Commercial Driver License (CDL), prior to heading out on the road.

Many observers are noting factors such as the controversial Covid vaccine mandate, that is likely a main contributor to the bus driver shortage.

TriMet says they have focused the adjustments on maintaining service in communities of color and areas where people of low income live and work. The plan was evaluated through a comprehensive Title VI analysis, which found no disproportionate impact on communities of concern within the service area.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-01-14 11:08:36Last Update: 2022-01-14 11:35:22



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