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Centro hiring bus drivers amid operator shortage

Ellen Abbott
WRVO Public Media File Photo

The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) is hiring.

Steven Koegel, vice president of communications and business planning at Centro, said the need for drivers is critical.

"We are in desperate need of bus operators in Syracuse," said Koegel. "Not only do we want to continue the service that we're offering, we want to expand our bus services, but we need more bus operators in order to do that."

Centro is also hiring in Oswego, Utica and Auburn, but Koegel said those areas are stable in operators since those regions require fewer drivers overall.

The transportation agency held an open house event earlier this month where prospective drivers had the chance to drive a Centro bus on a closed course to see if it was a career path they wanted to pursue.

Koegel said Centro bus drivers make an average of $50,000 or more a year, and bus operators only need a high school degree.

"We offer opportunities for the public to have a good career operating a Centro bus," Koegel said. "We're not going anywhere. It's a stable organization and if it's something that you're interested in, we think we have a great career path for you."

Centro is planning for the implementation of bus rapid transit along the James Street and University Hill corridors in Syracuse.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.