Our Next Question is about the beloved Regional Transportation District. No, the question isn't whether or not the A-line is working today.
This question was spotted on RTD's Twitter account.
Matt Layman was on the East Alameda limited route on Monday when he tweeted this, asking why he had to give his bus driver directions:
@RideRTD current 3L driver doesn't know the route...why is that even a thing?! We're having to give her directions.— Matt Layman (@mlayman09) September 18, 2017
RTD replied in two minutes (there are definitely no delays in their Twitter game) that it's because they're short on drivers, and some of them are filling in on unusual routes:
Because we're short on drivers, many are filling in at the last minute. They all have route directions + dispatch for assistance though— RTD (@RideRTD) September 18, 2017
RTD spokesperson Nate Currey stopped by on Tuesday for an interview, and we had to ask him about this.
"We're about 120 drivers bus operators short, and it's been that way since I've been there, for almost two years," Currey said. "So you know, when you've got a really good economy, like we do, people have options, and it's tough to hire. It's tough to retain. The sole joke that I got is, 'In 2018 we're going to make buses sexy again.' It's kind of tongue and cheek, but 70 percent of our business is bus, and yet, the majority of our attention is at the rail right now. Our operators do an amazing job. They deal with a lot of crap. They're really professional and they do a good job. Occasionally they get lost, especially if they're new. But if you can imagine driving that huge bus, dealing with a bunch of people, trying to make every single stop - it's kind of like that Seinfeld Kramer episode where he's trying to make every single stop."
RTD bus drivers and train operators get a $2,000 signing bonus and make $16.59 in an hour. They make more for working early and late hours, or split shifts.
WATCH the full interview with RTD spokesperson Nate Currey:
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