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The driver shortage is a growing problem that leads to poor experiences for everyone. Passengers face longer wait times and crowded buses, resulting in poor passenger experience and loss of ridership. Drivers suffer greater pressure and longer hours to make up for the lack of resources, leading to burnout and absenteeism. One reinforces the other in a self-perpetuating cycle.
Driving a bus is no easy feat. Drivers often face long and strenuous hours and/or irregular “split” shifts, which are especially challenging for people hoping to spend time with their family, study, or take on another job. New drivers are often dealt the most challenging schedules, which further hurts recruitment efforts.
To resolve bus driver shortages, the industry needs a better, smarter approach to scheduling and rostering — one that puts drivers’ needs and preferences at the heart of the solution. Because driver happiness and morale means the difference between nabbing that new hire (or not) and a driver calling out (or not). And that can mean the difference between regular services and no services at all.