A shortage of bus drivers has delayed the start of new Charlottesville Area Transit routes and has lead to more students walking to the City of Charlottesville’s public schools. To help attract more workers, Charlottesville officials have announced a pay increase.
“In addition to the two recruitment and retention bonuses that was implemented with Council’s support, I am today announcing a major shift in the compensation structure for operators, transit and pupil, bus aides, transit bus technicians, transit maintenance workers as well,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. “These changes will be effective today.”
The entry-level wage for bus drivers will now begin at $21 per hour and bus aides will be paid $18 an hour.
“All bus drivers with more than a year’s service, along with technicians and maintenance personnel, will receive a 12 percent market adjustment to demonstrate the city’s support,” Rogers said.
Rogers said public transportation is vital to the region’s future. That takes drivers, and Charlottesville Area Transit needs 20 drivers and pupil transportation needs 25. He said the pay increase is paid for out of CAT’s budget from the many vacancies. If all of the vacancies are filled, Council will be asked to increase funds.
Charlottesville’s starting pay is now higher than Jaunt, which has a base of $19 an hour for someone with a commercial driver’s license and $18 an hour for someone without. The average hourly wage for drivers is $21 an hour, according to a spokesperson for Jaunt. The University of Virginia did not respond to a request for information by publication time.
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