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NFTA bus driver shortage causes delays, 40 drivers needed

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 11, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some NFTA metro riders, like Selina Hayes from Grand Island, said their regular busses are not showing up on time.

"If it says there's going to be a bus there, there should be a bus there,” Hayes said."It has happened on four occasions, like on Sundays when I try to catch the 6:40 bus, it hasn't been there."

Hayes tells me the inconsistency is making it difficult to plan her day.

"It will make a major difference to somebody who has an appointment or has to go to work," Hayes said.

Helen Tederous from the NFTA said there are ways to check and see whether your bus is delayed. You can visit the NFTA Metro website for updated delays and cancellations. Or you can download the 'Transit Tracker,' app on your smartphone.

"We are really trying to communicate any changes as early as possible," Tederous said.

Tederous said many bus drivers are calling out sick.

"We're consistent with what's going on in the community,” Tederous said. “When you see COVID numbers going up, they're going up here."

Tederous said they are actively recruiting drivers, telling me they currently need about 40 more drivers. To apply for a bus driving job, visit the NFTA website and download and application. On January 22 there will be an open house for anyone interested in a maintenance or operator job.

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"We are getting there,” Tederous said. “But it is a challenge and we're not alone in the transportation industry."

But Hayes said waiting several hours for a bus before or after work isn't fair.

"Especially when it's as cold as it is today," Hayes said.

Now, Hayes said she may have to consider different means of transportation like Lyft or Uber."

"It might be a cost difference,” Hayes said. “But it’s the difference between standing outside and waiting 2-3 hours."