TriMet works to get back on track under employee shortage

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:25 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Since January, TriMet has had to cancel hundreds of routes and reduce their bus service by 9% because of an operator shortage. Now they’re trying to get back on track and say they are hiring hundreds of bus operators.

On Tuesday, TriMet had a special hiring event at The Courtyard Portland Downtown Convention Center. People were able to apply, ask questions, interview and even leave with a job. Starting pay $25.24/hr and it includes benefits and a $7,500 signing bonus for new drivers and seven weeks paid training to earn Commercial Drivers License. TriMet says they’re trying to get back to the staffing level they had before the pandemic. Tia York of TriMet, says they are looking to hire people with good customer service experience who enjoy being around others

“Some operators will tell you that this is the only interaction some people have in their day is with her bus operator who tells them good morning. But that positive interaction Saturday on the right foot and we’re looking for people who will create those situations for our community members.” says Tia York, TriMet.

After service reduction in January, TriMet reports showed they had to cancel a little over 150 bus trips and in the last month, almost 900 bus trips were cancelled while The Max cancelled 97 trips, causing problems for TriMet riders.

“My homework time is pretty extensive so sometimes I have to stay up a little later because some of my classes end at nine at night. So, I have to stay up even later because of that,” says Tania Bejarano. “I feel like I can miss opportunities for work because I have to think of that first, I have to prioritize the routes.”

The most cancellations TriMet had in one day was 89 trips, back on April 11. A TriMet rider told Fox 12, he takes the train as much as possible because it’s more reliable. For others, they say route cancellations has added little stress to their daily schedule.

I know between logistics and time and I’m able to do it. I’ve done this enough to where it does not bother me even,” says Robert J Garcia.

TriMet starts new training classes about every three weeks and can hold up to 26 people per class. For more information and to apply, please visit,