ST. LOUIS — Bus drivers across St. Louis are finding it difficult to maneuver in the area as Bi-State curtails service due to driver shortages.
One driver, Orlando Jackson, said she had a number of health conditions, including a heart condition. She said the cut in service put her in a difficult position.
“I’m four minutes away from my job. It takes me an hour and a half to get home. I take the bus to work and do other business. But at this time, well after 7 a.m., I don’t have a way home,” she said.
Bi-State said it will have to cut between 10 and 15 percent of bus service because of driver shortages. Reduced service frequency means long waits for hundreds of people who rely on public transit.
“I know they’ve been short on bus drivers since the pandemic, but they still have to accommodate us because we’re paying for their services,” Jackson said. “Every time I call nobody calls me back, the only time I call back is when you say, ‘Oh, we’ll work this out.'”
Bi-State Development CEO and President Taulby Roach said they are working to fix the problem, but he encouraged drivers to be patient.
“Certainly hundreds are affected, we have the service dynamics in that regard, but I can only ask everyone to be patient. We’re doing our best to improve our service,” said Roach. “We will continue with these bonuses, we will continue to work with our union partners to raise wage rates so we deserve these competitive jobs in today’s market.”
Roach said they are doing their best to get more riders.
“Boy, I’d love it if it were over tomorrow. The reality is that we have to work at it every single day, every single week, every single month. In fact, we have open job fairs on the second Saturday. This is our central facility down in Compton, please bring your resume, these are great jobs at Metro and you can move to St. Louis.”
He said the efforts are beginning to pay off. He said he hired 300 new drivers but it’s still not enough.
https://fox2now.com/news/you-paid-for-it/bus-service-cuts-due-to-lack-of-drivers-affecting-riders-in-st-louis-area/ Bus service cuts due to driver shortages affecting drivers in the St. Louis area