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PHOTOS: 64 Bus Operators Graduate from Zerega Bus Depot in the Bronx

New York City Transit
Updated July 21, 2022 7:15 p.m.
Bus Grads

Classes Accelerate Front Line Workforce Regrowth Following Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze

New Classes Join Hundreds of Train Conductors, Train Operators and Bus Operators Who Completed Training in 2021 and 2022

View Photos from the Graduation


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) today announced the graduation of 64 newly trained bus operators following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in Castle Hill in the Bronx. These operators will help New York City Transit tackle crew shortage challenges and bolster the frequency of bus service. This marked the formal end of six weeks of intensive training that began in June 2022. 

The graduation took place as NYCT Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership hovers between 60 and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels. 

“A new class of operators means more service for bus riders,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “So skip the traffic, relax and let us get you where you need to go this summer.” 

“By improving our recruiting efforts and accelerating hiring, we are able to run more buses more frequently,” said Senior Vice President for Buses Frank Annicaro. “Our mission is to provide great public transit bus service for riders returning to the system.” 

The new employees join 953 bus operators, 353 train operators and 431 train conductors who recently completed their training, and the 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. 

Along with improved recruiting efforts and speeding up training for new employees, the MTA addressed the staff shortage by bringing back recently retired train operators, scheduling additional overtime and buying back vacation time. 

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.