MTA welcomes new bus drivers to tackle crew shortages
In response to recent crew shortage challenges and a hiring freeze as a result of the pandemic, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has welcomed 45 new New York City Transit bus drivers.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that 45 newly trained bus operators graduated following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in Castle Hill in the Bronx on 24 November 2021. These operators will help New York City Transit (NYCT) to tackle recent crew shortage challenges and bolster the frequency of bus services.
The graduation marked the formal end of six weeks of intensive training and took place as New York City Transit Bus and the MTA Bus Company’s combined ridership neared 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
“Each day, our goal is to deliver thousands of scheduled trips for the New Yorkers who depend on buses to get them where they need to go,” said New York City Transit’s Interim President, Craig Cipriano. “By increasing class sizes, we can move more operators into the system more quickly to help us to ensure that buses are running as efficiently as possible.”
“Our riders deserve reliable service, and these operators will help to address the staffing challenges that we’ve experienced,” said Acting President at the MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President at New York City Transit’s Department of Buses, Frank Annicaro. “I want to thank these new bus operators for helping to provide service and joining our team that is committed to doing its part to help to bring back New York City.”
The new employees join the 129 bus operators and 56 subway conductors who recently completed their training, and the hundreds of NYCT workers who are expected to be onboarded in the months ahead – part of a deliberate effort undertaken by the MTA to rapidly grow the number of bus operators, subway train operators and conductors.
A hiring freeze – necessitated by a fiscal crisis that developed during the pandemic – depleted the ranks of bus operators, with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline posts.