GRTC Still Lacks 30 Full-Time Employees As Bus Service Cuts Formally Take Effect | Richmond Local News

The GRTC needed around 300 bus drivers before the pandemic to efficiently operate all of its routes. Barham said on Tuesday there were currently 268 drivers, 23 of them part-time. He said nine future drivers in training are on track to graduate next month.

Officials predicted this fall that a COVID-19 vaccination mandate could result in revenue. However, as litigation challenging a federal vaccine prescription continues, the GRTC has extended the February 9 deadline for the 7% of its employees who are not vaccinated or have yet to submit their records. injection.

The GRTC is offering a signing bonus of $ 5,000 to new drivers. The bonus, however, is awarded over the course of a year. The transportation company also offers bonuses of $ 8,500 for new mechanics, paid over two years.

GRTC officials also approved the use of $ 5 million from a federal COVID-19 aid jar for retention bonuses, but have not started awarding it to employees.

Maurice Carter, chairman of Amalgamated Transit Union 1220, which represents GRTC bus drivers and other network employees, said retention could improve if the company starts awarding these bonuses earlier.

GRTC spokeswoman Carrie Rose Pace said the timing of these bonuses has not been publicly announced, but officials expect the bonuses to be awarded between early and mid-2022.

Melvin Z. Madore