Albany transportation center project hits a snag that will delay completion

The Albany Transit System is looking to fill 15 driving position for city buses.

ALBANY — The Albany Transit System is looking for a few more people to come aboard its buses, specifically drivers to take the wheel, and is offering a $1,000 signing bonus for qualified commercial driver’s license holders.

Currently, the system is 16 drivers short of being fully staffed at 32, with 15 full-time and one part-time position open.

On Wednesday the city will host a transit job fair seeking to fill some of those positions at the Arthur K. Williams Microbusiness Enterprise Center.

“Thus far, we have not missed any routes, but it’s been a challenge for us,” Albany Transportation Director David Hamilton said. “We’ve managed with what we have. We’re just hoping we can get the people hired so we can continue to provide the service in the future that we hope to provide.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some drivers have chosen to leave the profession and the number of applicants has been thin, Hamilton said.

“Like all transit agencies around the country, we have been hit hard by the pandemic,” he said.

Drivers for large transit buses are required to have a CDL, but that is not a requirement for the smaller buses operated by the system. The city will provide federally required training to get drivers on the road.

“We’re offering training for those who have CDLs and need a passenger endorsement certificate,” Hamilton said.

In addition to the signing bonuses, the city offers competitive pay and benefits, the director said. Those include an employee health clinic that offers some medications at no cost, along with medical benefits and a retirement/pension package.

The transit system runs 10 buses on 13 routes and transports about 650,000 passengers a year.

The job fair will be held from 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday at the 230 S. Jackson St. enterprise center. Applicants should bring a resume, driver’s license, Social Security card or other identification and CDL.

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