Class Accelerates Front Line Workforce Regrowth Following Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze
New Class Joins Hundreds of Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors Who Completed Training in 2021 and 2022
New York City Transit President Richard Davey celebrated the graduation of 80 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 (NYCT) 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 May 2022.
The graduation took place as NYCT Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership hovers between 60 and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels and as the agency announced a partnership with MetroCard mobile sales vehicles throughout Queens to expand ongoing outreach efforts and gather feedback on the Queens Bus Network Redesign New Draft Plan.
“New Yorkers rely on MTA’s buses and bus operators to get to work, school and family,” Davey said. “Bus operators become a huge part of our passengers’ everyday lives. Be safe and be aware. We are so proud of you and the work you’re going to do.”
“New Yorkers rely on the MTA, and if we don’t work the city doesn’t work,” said New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President and MTA Bus Company Acting President Frank Annicaro. “We have your back and we are so excited for you to join our team.”
The new employees join 873 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 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.