Driver Shortage Impacts Centro Bus Schedule at SU
By Louise Rath
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Centro is being affected by a nationwide shortage of workers in the transportation industry, and it’s causing changes to Syracuse University’s bus schedule.
The company has temporarily paused all campus bussing past 8 p.m. because there aren’t enough bus operators to run on a regular schedule.
Luckily for SU students, Parking and Transportation Services has ramped up their use of ‘Cuse Trolleys to help alleviate the effects of this worker shortage.
“At least students will have some service after 8 p.m., some communities right now will have no service,” said Steven Koegel, Vice President for Communications and Business Planning at Centro.
Several communities in the Syracuse area are facing a complete suspension of certain bus routes.
Koegel says getting these routes up and running again is at the top of Centro’s priority list.
“We hope that some of our communities will see relief in the near term, but for other communities it may be longer,” he said.
Bus operators have to undergo an extensive six-week training course before they can start driving, which means this limited bus schedule could stay in affect for weeks.
Koegel says the company usually runs with about 190 bus drivers, and they currently have 140-145 operators.
While Centro has seen a recent uptick in applicants, they still need 30-35 new drivers before they can return to normal operation.
“Right now, our workforce is changing dynamically, and we’re just having a hard time attracting people to be bus operators,” Koegel said.
Centro is using local signage, social media, billboards, radio, and television advertisements to reach more potential candidates.
As for Syracuse University, trolleys are helping to transport students to and from South Campus overnight.
South Campus shuttle routes are running every 15 minutes from 7:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. before the regular schedule goes into effect at 6:00 a.m. each day.