PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA has been warning bus passengers daily about delays due to a shortage of operators. SEPTA officials say it’s 80 short bus drivers. They are trying to fill those places as quickly as possible.
“It’s very frustrating,” said one woman.
SEPTA’s driver shortage is sending shockwaves throughout Philadelphia.
“They are never on time,” Sylvia Lang said. “They are always late on the weekends.”
“You really don’t see them, at most,” said one man.
SEPTA announced on social media on Monday that more than two dozen urban and suburban routes would operate with delays due to operator shortages.
Rte 2,4,17,23,26,31,37,40,42,43,45,47,47M, 48,52,57,65,68,89,103,104,109,111,112,113,115,123,125, G, K: The service is operating with delays due to a shortage of operators.
– SEPTA (@SEPTA_Bus) September 13, 2021
While finding and training new operators has been a challenge over the past year, SEPTA is also trying to recover from a hiring freeze implemented when passenger numbers were extremely low during the worst of COVID.
Some passengers say the shortage is affecting their daily routine and jobs, and they say the bus schedule is inconsistent.
“It’s just ridiculous,” Katina Fuller said. “I am a hardworking person and I need to get to work on time.”
SEPTA said it is doing everything it can to address shortages and offset losses and return to pre-pandemic operations.
“I hope they have more drivers,” Fuller said. “We need it.”
SEPTA said that if you are looking for work, they urge you to arrive and apply. It is not known how long these delays will last in the city center.
CBS3’s Kerri Corrado contributed to this report.