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CapMetro driver shortage impacting bus service

The transit agency is now offering a hiring bonus of up to $3,500 for some candidates.

AUSTIN, Texas — Need a job? Capital Metro is hiring bus drivers and mechanics.

The transit agency said it has long prided itself on providing safe and reliable transportation options to Central Texans and it wants to continue doing that by adding more drivers and mechanics to its team. 

A driver and sometimes vehicle shortage is causing shortfalls in CapMetro's service. Usually, up to 15 bus service hours are impacted by a break down or accident each day but currently, more than 100 bus service hours daily are being impacted.

"We are unable to put all of our service on the street every day. And so, we're not making all of our schedule commitments. The service we do put out usually operates fairly reliably, but when it's not all the service, we know that that's problematic for the people that rely on us to get where they need to go," said Dottie Watkins, chief operating officer for CapMetro. 

There's now a big focus on hiring bus operators and mechanics to fill the gaps. 

"We're really pushing hard to recruit and maybe gain the interest of folks who maybe have never thought about being a bus operator before. It's a great job and we'd like to maybe pique their interest," Watkins said.

CapMetro said that the transit industry has experienced personnel impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is actively recruiting to try to return its team of drivers and mechanics to pre-pandemic numbers. CapMetro said it continuously monitors and evaluates its service and has recorded impacts due to a need for more drivers and mechanics. 

CapMetro said some qualified candidates can earn up to a $3,500 hiring bonus and will be offered full benefits, including medical, dental, vision and more. Drivers and mechanics also have significant room for growth within CapMetro and are encouraged to participate in professional development sessions and training.

Pay for operators starts at $17.50 an hour and $21 an hour for mechanics. 

Candidates with or without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are encouraged to apply. CapMetro offers trainings at no cost to those without the license so they can obtain one.  

Those who wish to apply can do so at the MV Transportation website. MV Transportation is a contracting service CapMetro utilizes to employ certain employees, according to the agency.

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