Metro continues canceling some trips and temporarily suspending some routes. Last week, we reported the number of buses that needed to have a steering defect fixed was higher than first disclosed – more than 200, about 10 percent of the fleet; Metro said on Thursday that 61 were still awaiting repairs. But what about the other half of the equation – the driver shortage?
Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer explained, “Metro has an ongoing recruitment campaign for part-time operators, which is the primary way we increase our transit operator ranks. From there, we promote to full-time, which allows operators to deliver more service each day.” Currently, they have 2,513 operators (drivers) – 1,971 full-time, 542 part-time. How many do they need? According to Switzer, “Metro estimates it needs 99 full-time equivalent transit operators, which can be a varying combination of part-time and full-time operators. This could be in the neighborhood of 102 part-time operators and 38 full-time operators.” Last year, Metro “trained and hired 167 part-time transit operators and promoted 152 full-time transit operators.” They have training classes for both categories, with four part-time classes and three full-time classes scheduled this month and next.” Need a job? Switzer has a pitch for you: “We encourage people to consider joining our world-class organization, either as a transit operator, vehicle maintenance staff or other open Metro positions posted on King County’s jobs page.” Here’s the link for transit openings; part-time driver is listed at a range of $26.57 – $37.96 hourly.