Move Minneapolis’ latest webinar “Hey! Where Did My Bus Go? Bus Driver Shortages, A Tight Labor Market, & The Road Ahead” explored the ongoing transit operator shortage with national and local perspective. Featuring Reinaldo Germano, Project Manager & Senior Transportation Planner at Foursquare ITP, Brian Funk, Chief Operating Officer at Metro Transit, and Alec Johnson, Apprenticeship Coordinator at Metro Transit – ATU 1005.

National Perspective

Reinaldo summarized the findings of the APTA Report “Transit Workforce Shortage: Root Causes, Potential Solutions, and the Road Ahead” that Foursquare ITP and EBP authored. This report synthesizes the findings from phase one of the study, which included surveys of transit agencies across the country and background research into the causes of the shortage.

The report and Reinaldo’s presentation highlight that the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is not alone in a bus driver shortage that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The shortage is severe and widespread. The root causes of the shortage, as well as the challenges for driver retention, are varied, complex, and nuanced.

Metro Transit Actions

Brian summarized the current levels of bus operations, as well as actions that Metro Transit is taking. Alec detailed Metro Transit’s Apprenticeship program, which includes recognition, collaboration, training, and mentorship. The program helps new employees learn, connect, and engage.

Brian and Alec noted that transit users can learn more about Network Now, a “plan for the future that continues to invest in improving… service as more resources, such as additional drivers, are available.” Visit the webpage to sign up for updates and find contact information for Metro Transit staff working on the plan.

Metro Transit hiring events are a great way for potential drivers to get connected to opportunities – individuals can apply and interview on the spot. Learn more and spread the word!

Watch the full webinar:

Thank you to Reinaldo, Brian, and Alec for presenting, and to Drew Kerr for additional support.

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