Class Is Part of a Push to Rebuild Front Line Workforce in Aftermath of Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze
Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors Expected to Reach Pre-Pandemic Staffing Levels Second Quarter of 2022
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the graduation of 68 bus operators following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. The latest class of bus operators exemplifies New York City Transit’s (NYCT) commitment to strengthen its workforce while also reinforcing frequency of bus service. This commencement marked the formal end of a rigorous six weeks of intensive training which began on March 13, 2022.
The graduation comes as New York City Transit Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership continues to improve up to pre-pandemic levels with bus ridership soaring above one million riders on multiple days during the month of April. Bus performance also continues to improve this year, with service delivery reaching above 96% for the month of March and average above 93%, so far, this calendar year. The new influx of bus operators is happening as MTA Bus continues to see wait assessment times and other key indicators showing improvements from the previous month.
In addition to the release of the newly developed Queens Bus Network Redesign’s New Draft Plan last month and a celebration of Earth Day with the showcasing of one of our all-electric articulated buses at the New York International Auto Show, the MTA is committed to enhancing bus networks in every borough while maintaining ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are so proud of the newest class of New York City Transit bus operators and welcome the new drivers to our extraordinary team,” said New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “This latest graduating class symbolizes our aggressive hiring and training efforts in making more buses available to customers, shortening wait times and providing more service each day.”
“I am excited and proud to welcome our newest New York City Transit bus operators,” said MTA Bus Company Acting President and New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro. “Whether its providing critical service in times of crisis to the rollout of our zero-emission fleet there is no more of a better time to join this incredible workforce.”
The new employees join 739 bus operators 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 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.
The new graduating class of bus operators will officially begin behind the wheel on April 29.
The MTA operates more than 5,800 buses that run across 329 routes, carries 16% of the nation’s bus riders, and represents the largest municipal fleet in the nation. In 2019, New York City buses carried more passengers than Los Angeles Metro, Chicago CTA, and San Francisco SFMTA combined.