Minot Transit Calls For Bus Drivers - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Minot Transit Calls For Bus Drivers

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For more than 20 years, the Minot Public Transit System has been operating five days a week, Monday through Friday. But, now they're being forced to be creative when it comes to staffing drivers.

Eleven buses, but only seven drivers. That's the current challenge for the Minot Public Transit System.

"You're just juggling names every week and times trying to figure out which mechanics you want out of the shop," says Justin Seifert, City of Minot Shop and Bus Foreman. 

The last time the city transit had a full staff of drivers was back in December 2013.  Since then, two drivers have left, which may not sound like much of a change, but for Seifert and his staff, it's caused a lot scheduling changes.

"It makes it a little more difficult because we're pulling mechanics and parts guys out of the shop to drive the bus," says Seifert. "So, not only are we short on the]bus side, but then, we're short in the shop because we got nobody here to work on equipment."

"It's difficult when you're in the middle of a job, and you have to breakaway to take time to put your tools away, clean up, and then go drive a bus. It takes a good three to three and a half hours out of your work schedule," says Rick Duncan a Minot bus mechanic.

Duncan is the main bus mechanic, so when one of the 11 buses break down, he's the go-to guy for help.

"It's difficult. When I'm out on the road, and I hear that a bus is broke down," says Duncan.  "It doesn't aggravate me, but, gosh, I wish I was there to be able to do it, but you can't."

While the staff is not working double shifts, they are putting in extra hours to ensure buses are operating at their best.

"We got to keep up with the shop," says Seifert. "We got to have them work a little bit of overtime in the shop to make up for when they're out driving the bus."

But, with so much competition in the area, finding drivers to fill the openings is becoming a challenge.

"The wages here aren't the same as the private sector. You know, the city can't compete with the private sector wages, so it just makes it tougher," says Seifert.

The transit system currently has six midday routes and six additional routes to help with the early morning overflow. But, without enough drivers, the transit system may be forced not to run as many routes each day.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a bus driver for the transit system call Minot Public Works at 857-4140.

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