Bus driver shortage impacting routes, residents in Cameron County
A shortage of drivers is reducing Valley Metro bus service in Cameron County, with some routes being canceled.
Valley Metro Director of Planning Tom Logan says they've been dealing with a shortage of drivers for more than a year.
The shortage is even affecting one of their more popular routes - Route 45 – which runs from Harlingen to Brownsville with stops San Benito and Los Fresnos. What used to be two busses a day is now down to just one.
Logan says competing with school districts and the trucking industry is making their search for drivers even more challenging.
"We do have route cancellation or decreasing service because we are lacking the man power right now getting to certify CDL drivers," Logan said.
Getting that CDL - or commercial driver’s license - can take up to two to three months, and some people don't want to wait that long.
Logan says they are working with local colleges to recruit students, something that’s worked for them in the past.
In some cases, they are also using vans instead of buses, so drivers don't need a CDL.
If you are having trouble getting picked up, Valley Metro is now offering curbside pickups known as fast ride.
For more information, visit http://www.lrgvdc.org/valleymetro.html or call 1-800-574-8322.