LTD Boardings Increase, So Does Need for Bus Operators
Lane Transit District (LTD) tallied nearly one million more passenger boardings during the 2023 Fiscal Year from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, than in the previous fiscal year. Overall, LTD counted 5,956,158 passenger boardings in FY23, compared to 4,975,763 during the previous fiscal year.
“LTD’s increase in passenger boardings is due to more people returning to the workplace and the classroom after the pandemic,” said Pat Walsh, LTD’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We believe that passenger boardings will steadily increase over the next few years.”
Presently, LTD is operating at approximately 79% of the bus service it provided pre-pandemic, while capturing 64% of the boardings. To get back to pre-pandemic service levels, the District needs more bus operators.
“All of us with LTD want more bus service on the street,” Walsh said. “Compounding the challenge is when new bus operators are hired, the District often has the same number retire or change jobs.”
Ten new bus operators recently joined LTD’s cadre of 159 veteran bus operators. They operate the District’s 40- and 60-foot buses, including assisting passengers to ensure they get to where they are going along LTD’s 30 neighborhood and two EmX routes. To get to full strength, LTD needs 195 bus operators in its ranks.
Walsh says new bus operators join LTD from all walks of life and careers. To encourage interested candidates to apply, several current bus operators have posted their LTD stories online as part of the District’s social media, radio, and television recruitment campaign. A new class of bus operators will begin LTD’s nine-week training program at the end of October.“LTD’s mission is connecting our community,” Walsh said. “For the District to connect more community members to the people and places that are most important to them, we will keep recruiting new bus operators, work hard to retain the current bus operators and staff, and identify new opportunities to assist people to manage their mobility options.”