Driver shortage, policy changes lead to cancelled trips on CAT

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Nov 13, 2017 7:12 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Capital Area Transit is short on bus drivers.

Public transit commuters in Dauphin and Cumberland counties have been left out in the cold of late when about 20 trips were unexpectedly cancelled.

For most of this year, at least, CAT has had to rely on operators working overtime to fill all scheduled trips.

CAT's interim General Manager Tom Reynolds said the cancellations started after a recent employee union meeting.

"Sometime after that meeting, we had the operators failing to do what they've normally done, and that's fill in the overtime lists that helps us supplement the service that we need to provide to our customers," he said.

Reynolds said he believes some operators are unhappy with policy changes since he took over, causing some to lose their jobs.

He wouldn't specify the policies because of the resulting personnel issues.

Reynolds said CAT is trying to hire more operators, but competition for people with special drivers' licenses is tough in the midstate.

"Since this is a very good location for warehouse and distribution centers out there--those are the competitors that we have to go against in terms of trying to find qualified operators," Reynolds said.

CAT is also reviewing its legal options to make sure the sudden cancellations don't become the norm.

An attempt to reach union leaders was unsuccessful.

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