The class is part of a push to rebuild front line workforce in aftermath of pandemic-induced...

The class is part of a push to rebuild front line workforce in aftermath of pandemic-induced hiring freeze last year.

Photo: MTA

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that 45 newly trained bus operators graduated following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in Castle Hill in the Bronx, according to the agency's press announcement.

These operators will help New York City Transit (NYCT) tackle crew shortage challenges and improve the frequency of bus service. This marked the formal end of six weeks of training. 

The graduation took place as New York City Transit Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership has neared 70% of pre-pandemic levels in recent days. 

"Each day our goal is to deliver thousands of scheduled trips for the New Yorkers who depend on buses to get them where they need to go,” said Craig Cipriano, New York City Transit interim president. “By increasing class sizes, we can move more operators into the system more quickly to help us ensure that buses are running as efficiently as possible."  

The new employees join the 129 bus operators and 56 subway conductors who recently completed their training, and the hundreds of NYCT workers who are expected to be onboarded in the months ahead.

“Our riders deserve reliable service, and these operators will help address the staffing challenges we’ve experienced,” said Frank Annicaro, acting president at the MTA Bus Company. “I want to thank these new bus operators for helping provide service and joining our team that is committed to doing its part to help bring back New York City.” 

The MTA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are offering free rides on the Q70 Select Bus Service (SBS) LaGuardia Link until Sunday, Nov. 28. The Q70 SBS connects the subway lines and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to LaGuardia Terminals B, C and D, providing a worry-free limited-stop ride with customer amenities designed for travelers. Stops for Q70 SBS LaGuardia Link are distinctly marked outside LIRR’s Woodside Station/61 St-Woodside subway station and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av /74 St-Broadway subway station complex. 

Customers boarding at LaGuardia Terminals B, C, and D can spot the LaGuardia Link buses via their blue exterior design and SBS signage. Customers are urged to allow extra time due to ongoing construction near LaGuardia Airport and increased holiday traffic.