ABQ Ride delays expected due to bus driver shortage

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — People in Albuquerque can expect to wait a little longer for the bus later this month. The city’s Transit Department says it’ll be forced to make some cutbacks because there just aren’t enough bus drivers.

A city spokesperson estimates this is one of the most severe shortages in years. The Transit Department needs to fill more than 100 bus driver positions – that’s about 40% of the entire bus driving staff.

That’s not the only shortage they’re facing. The department also needs to hire more than a dozen mechanics.

A spokesperson said they have been dealing with a worker shortage since the start of the pandemic, but a recent surge of retirements and firings only made things worse. She added that some drivers are working overtime shifts to help keep things on track.

Starting next Saturday, Oct. 14, at least nine ABQ Ride routes will see a reduction in service – about an extra four to 10 minutes between buses. Both ART bus lines will also see a slight reduction in service.

Officials say they will be operating at just 60% of their pre-pandemic levels, until they can hire and train new bus drivers. The city is also offering extra benefits.

The Transit Department is hosting hiring fairs on Oct. 17 and Oct. 27 at the Ken Sanchez Transit Facility near I-40 and Unser for anyone interested in learning more or applying. For more information, click here.