A 5-Point Plan to Address MBTA Bus Operator Shortages and Winter Service Reductions

Written by Caitlin Allen-Connelly, Project Director 

A shortage of bus operators in the Commonwealth forced the MBTA to reduce winter service on more than 30 bus routes in mid-December 2021. Fortunately, there is sufficient funding at the MBTA to bring our vital mass transit systems back to pre-pandemic levels and to support the Commonwealth’s economic recovery.

On December 20, 2021, A Better City sent a letter to the Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation and MBTA General Manager outlining a 5-point plan to mitigate the bus operator shortage crisis and to help get the region’s public transit system back on track. 

  1. Expand Actions to Attract & Retain Qualified Workforce
  2. Enhance Marketing Efforts and Create Public Transit Workforce Development Program
  3. Continue Hiring Campaign and Registry of Motor Vehicles Partnership
  4. Partner With Federal Officials to Modernize and Streamline Work Rules
  5. Pursue Short-Term Pacheco Law Waiver

Read the full letter and plan here. A Better City is in frequent contact with the MBTA to share strategies, to support recruitment efforts in order to avoid sustained service cuts. We hope the MBTA will continue act with greater urgency to deploy innovative solutions to attract and retain qualified bus drivers and reverse these cuts.

Please reach out to Caitlin Allen-Connelly (callen-connelly@abettercity.org; (508) 847-0756) with any questions or recommendations.


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