A Columbia transit board will be hearing details Tuesday afternoon about the city’s shortage of bus drivers.
Columbia Public Works spokesman John Ogan says they’re down 11 full-time and seven part-time drivers, which represents about 40 percent of their operator staff. Mr. Ogan tells 939 the Eagle that the main issue is that they don’t receive many applicants, and that many of those who do apply either don’t qualify or can’t wait through the duration of the hiring process, which can take several weeks.
Ogan says the city is helping the situation by providing CDL training. Ogan says they’re able to take someone with no bus driving experience and help them obtain their commercial driver’s license, their airbrake requirement and their passenger endorsement requirement.
He also confirms that they’re considering working with the Missouri Public Transit Association to help train students in the community college system, to obtain their CDL’s and possibly work for the city part-time.
Columbia’s public transit advisory commission meets at 5:30 this afternoon.