The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) added 36 new bus drivers, the latest of more than 400 jobs created as part of the upcoming Red Line South reconstruction project.
The new drivers are the latest group to join the CTA since last fall in preparation for the $425 million investment in the Red Line on Chicago’s South Side. The drivers will operate the shuttle buses and expanded supplemental bus service the CTA will offer customers during the construction project, which gets under way in May 2013. The drivers will become full-time bus drivers following the conclusion of the project.
“These 400 bus-drivers, along with the 100 traffic control aides we are hiring, will provide essential jobs for our residents and will ease transportation around the city as we make these critical improvements in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Nearly all of the more than 400 new drivers either attended one of the CTA’s three bus driver job fairs in summer 2012, or heard or saw the advertisements for the fairs, each of which were held in the footprint of the Red Line project between Roosevelt Road and 95th Street.
The bus driver job fairs we so successful — attracting more than 4,000 potential candidates — that the CTA has been able to rely on that pool to fill other bus driver openings due to retirements or other normal attrition.
The bus drivers start out as part-time employees, but eventually become full-time drivers as other drivers retire or leave CTA employment. CTA bus drivers go through a 23-day training course before being assigned to bus routes. The training focuses on bus operations and customer service, with a strong emphasis on safety.