FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2021
MARTA MAKES TEMPORARY SERVICE
MODIFICATIONS TO ADDRESS BUS OPERATOR SHORTAGE
All Bus Routes Remain Operational; Majority of
Routes to Run on Saturday Schedule
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will make temporary
service modifications to its bus service beginning Saturday, Dec. 18, to
address a shortage of bus operators. All 113 current bus routes will remain
operational, with the majority, 96 routes, operating on a Saturday schedule.
Eleven high ridership routes will continue operating on a weekday schedule, as
will six routes that normally don’t run on Saturday.
shortages are a challenge for many industries right now, and public transit has
been hit particularly hard. MARTA budgets for 1,366 full-time bus operators and
currently has 1,179 on staff, representing a 14 percent deficit. COVID-19 has
posed the greatest threat to operator retention and recruitment, with operators
leaving due to concerns over their health or being terminated due to
noncompliance with MARTA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. The Policy states that
all employees must submit either a vaccination card or weekly test results.
Absenteeism among remaining operators is high, resulting in cancelled routes or
last-minute schedule changes that inconvenience customers and impact service
temporary adjustment to our bus service will reduce uncertainty about when your
bus is coming or if it’s coming at all,” said MARTA Deputy General Manager of
Operations Collie Greenwood. “Like almost all transit agencies and other
industries we are having to operate with a reduced workforce due to the effects
of COVID, and this schedule change allows us to responsibly address this
shortage and still provide service our customers can rely on.”
actively recruiting bus operators through every available channel and holding
monthly job fairs, processing many qualified candidates on the spot. The
Authority has streamlined its hiring process as well making it more competitive
with other transportation companies. Additionally, all new hires must be
vaccinated against COVID-19.
was a difficult but necessary decision, and we expect to return to our regular
service soon. MARTA will deploy operators as they are hired and
trained so that regular weekday bus service for all routes can resume with a
full complement of drivers.
schedules will be updated on www.itsmarta.com
and the MARTA On the Go app to reflect these changes beginning
Saturday, Dec. 18th.