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America’s Bus Driver Shortage Has Left Transit Systems in Crisis

With the nation’s current drivers retiring in large numbers, agencies need to cultivate a new generation of transit operators, a new report says.

An MTA bus driver in New York City.

An MTA bus driver in New York City.

Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

The number of bus drivers across the US is declining as many retire or seek higher-paying private-sector jobs that require less in-person contact.

The shortage is creating a major challenge for transportation agencies as they try to revive their systems and win riders back after taking steep losses throughout the pandemic, according to a report by TransitCenter, a public transportation advocacy group, released on Wednesday. The report sheds light on the industry and what agencies can do to retain workers and attract younger drivers.