Temporary reduction in service levels will help schedule reliability as TriMet works to build bus operator ranks during national worker shortage
UPDATE: As of May 1, 2022, TriMet increased the bus operator starting wage to $25.24 per hour. New bus operators are also eligible to receive a $7,500 hiring bonus. Learn more at trimet.org/drive.
TriMet must temporarily reduce bus service due to a severe staffing shortage. With employee attrition and not enough applicants to meet our expected hiring goals, we are facing the most significant operator shortfall in agency history. Starting Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, TriMet will reduce current bus service levels by about 9%. This will bring service back to the level TriMet adopted in April of 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologize to our riders as we would much rather be expanding service, but by taking this step we increase the schedule reliability so riders experience less canceled or late buses.
Temporary Service Reduction
Beginning Jan. 9, TriMet will temporarily reduce service on 20 of our 84 bus lines:
- Line 4-Fessenden
- Line 8-Jackson Park/NE 15th
- Line12-Barbur/Sandy Blvd
- Line 15-Belmont/NW 23rd
- Line 17-Holgate/Broadway
- Line 21-Sandy Blvd/223rd
- Line 33-McLoughlin/King Rd
- Line 35-Macadam/Greeley
- Line 52-Farmington/185th
- Line 54-Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
- Line 56-Scholls Ferry Rd
- Line 62-Murray Blvd
- Line 67-Bethany/158th
- Line 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave
- Line 71-60th Ave
- Line 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard
- Line 76-Hall/Greenburg
- Line 77-Broadway/Halsey
- Line78-Denney/Kerr Pkwy
TriMet focused the adjustments on maintaining service in areas with high concentrations of people with low incomes and communities of color, while providing connections to education, job, health care and service centers.
All of the changes are to weekday bus service. Most lines will follow the same service levels that were provided on Saturdays prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Frequent Service Lines, this generally means buses will arrive about every 15 minutes during the busiest travel times of the day. Other reductions to weekend bus, MAX and WES service made in April 2020 remain in effect.
One bus line will get additional service. All trips on Line 32-Oatfield will run between Clackamas Community College in Oregon City and Downtown Milwaukie. This adjustment expands weekend service on Line 32 to include areas between Oregon City and Milwaukie that are served on weekdays.
Riders are encouraged to visit trimet.org and plan a trip on or after Jan. 9 to see how the service plan will affect their ride, as connection and transfer times may change.
LIFT paratransit service
Our LIFT paratransit service may also be affected by these service reductions. LIFT riders may experience longer ride times or differences in desired pickup or drop-off times as a result, as the LIFT program provides service the same days and times as our fixed-route bus service. The LIFT Customer Service is prepared to help riders navigate these changes.
TriMet is hiring
We are actively working to recruit new bus operators. In October, we increased bus operator starting pay to $21.36 per hour and earlier this week we added a $2,500 hiring bonus to our competitive pay and benefits package. Full time bus operators have the potential to earn $68,000 or more after three years on the job and earn many additional, valuable benefits:
- All new bus operators receive seven weeks of paid training, including commercial driver license (CDL) education and certification.
- TriMet offers health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance plans and contributes up to 95% of monthly health insurance premiums.
- In addition to offering pension and retirement plans, TriMet makes a monthly contribution of 8% of every employee’s base pay toward retirement.
- New bus operators receive one week of paid vacation and up to 40 hours sick leave in the first year of employment, with time off increasing after the first year.
- Employees have access to health care and dependent care spending accounts, if desired.
- TriMet offers an expansive Employee Assistance Program with free access to mental health and counseling services, legal assistance, financial coaching and home ownership programs.
- All employees and eligible family members can receive an annual transit pass (valued up to $1200).
- Employees and eligible family members have 24-hour access to five exclusive on-site fitness centers, with plans starting at $13/month.
- TriMet bus operators receive representation by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 757.
Are you a good fit for our team or know someone who would be? Visit trimet.org/driveforus.