The City of Moncton is currently under a dilemma – a lack of bus drivers in the city has caused the Moncton council to handover $175,000 to Codiac Transpo.
According to the CBC, there will be two Coach Atlantic drivers to fill in the vacant positions; they will be taking over the seasonal bus route from Plaza Boulevard to Magnetic Hill, and also the bus route that serves the city’s two hospitals, the 64b line.
However, Codiac Transpo is still looking for six new drivers, according to 91.9 The Bend.
The reason why there are so many vacant drivers is due to an abnormal number of drivers on disability leave, according to the City of Moncton General Manager of Community Safety Services Don McLellan.
“We never got ahead of the game,” said Marie-Claire Pierce, Senior Transit Planner at Codiac Transpo. “We would hire a few, get them trained and then all of the sudden someone might retire.”
Training lasts between five to eight weeks, and the soon-to-be driver would require a Class 1 or Class 2 bus license; however, it was originally difficult to attract people willing to commit to getting their bus license, due to not being guaranteed full-time hours. Now, they’re guaranteeing 30 hours per week to each new driver, according to the Codiac Transpo website.
Pierce says that due to the shortage of drivers, the Blue and Green lines will be brought to a halt at 10pm, rather than the current time of 11:30pm. Also, the Codiac Transpo service will now be running on an hourly basis, rather than its current 30 minute cycle, for some of the bus routes.
All upcoming changes to the bus routes can be viewed on Codiac Transpo’s website.