Only old people left: the US is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers

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Only old people left : The US is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers

According to experts, the crisis arose against the backdrop of an aging workforce, low wages, high crime rates and the reluctance of young people to pursue a career as a driver.

In In the United States, transportation agencies began to experience a shortage of bus drivers. Their numbers are declining as many of them are retiring or looking for higher paying jobs in private companies. This is reported by Bloomberg.

The publication writes that the shortage poses a serious problem for transport agencies that are trying to restore the industry and return passengers, after suffering significant losses during the pandemic. To overcome the crisis, agencies are trying to attract young professionals.

“Although there may be different reasons for different agencies, two stand out: an increase in the number of retirements of an aging workforce and difficulties in recruiting and retaining new workers,” says in a report by the Transit Center Public Transport Advocacy Group.

According to the APTA report, the average age of a transit driver is almost 53 years old, which is 10 years older than the average employee. Moreover, the dynamics of the age category of drivers over the past seven years is as follows – in 2015, 63% of employees were over 45 years old, and by 2022 this figure has increased to 72%.

There are only old people left: the US is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers

< p>In this situation, the researchers predict about 200 thousand free vacancies in the near future, despite the fact that in the United States the total employment of the population fell by 6 million compared to pre-pandemic times. According to the Department of Labor, the percentage of vacancies is at its highest level since 2001, and the proportion of Americans employed is at its lowest level since the 1970s.

“There are simply not enough young workers to fill certain functions, and this has hit the transport industry very hard – especially for the driver position,” the authors of the report noted.

As the age limits of the workforce rise, there is another problem , which lies in the high cost of living in cities with a lot of public transport. Many drivers who work long hours and overtime cannot afford to live in such cities, the hourly wages of the seven leading transport companies in the United States, depending on the number of passengers, range from $19.55 to $29.61.

< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ostalis-odni-stariki-ssha-ispytyvaet-deficit-voditelej-avtobusov-d62bb2b.jpg" alt="Only old people left: USA is in shortage bus drivers" />

Meanwhile, the problem is aggravated by the growth of crime in cities. Many potential employees, fearing for their safety, either leave their jobs or avoid the career of a driver entirely. According to the report, the number of attacks on drivers per passenger trip quadrupled from 2009 to 2020.

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