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PHOTOS: MTA Celebrates Graduation Day for 66 New Bus Operators

MTA Bus Company
Updated June 23, 2022 7:30 p.m.
Bus Grad

Class Accelerates Front Line Workforce Regrowth Following Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze  
New Class Joins Hundreds of Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors Who Completed Training in 2021 and 2022 
View Photos from the Graduation

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that 66 newly trained bus operators graduated following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in Castle Hill in the Bronx. These operators will help New York City Transit (NYCT) tackle crew shortage challenges and bolster the frequency of bus service. This marked the formal end of six weeks of intensive training that began in May 2022.  
Graduation took place as New York City Transit Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership hovers between 60 and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels. The graduation also comes just days ahead of the Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign on Sunday, June 26. The redesigned network brings foundational improvements that will deliver more reliable bus service, improve connections, reduce wait times and increase bus speeds. It reallocates resources to the portions of the borough with the greatest impact and lays out an adaptable framework to meet real-time travel patterns of current and future bus customers. 
“We welcome the newest class of bus operators to NYC Transit; these graduates are making headway for us to reach pre-pandemic staffing levels,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Our continuous hiring and training efforts are making more buses available to customers, shortening wait times and providing more service each day.”  
“I am proud and excited to welcome this newest class of bus operators to our team,” said MTA Bus Company Acting President and New York City Transit Department of Buses Acting Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro. “These operators will be crucial as the MTA’s redesigned Bronx local bus network begins and we work to provide faster and more reliable service for our customers.”  
The new employees join 807 bus operators who recently completed their training, and the hundreds of NYCT workers who are expected to be onboarded in the months ahead, part of a deliberate effort by the MTA to rapidly grow the number of bus operators, subway train operators and conductors. A hiring freeze, necessitated by a fiscal crisis that developed during the pandemic, depleted the ranks of bus operators with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline posts.  
The MTA operates more than 5,800 buses that run across 329 routes, carries 16% of the nation’s bus riders, and represents the largest municipal fleet in the nation. In 2019, New York City buses carried more passengers than Los Angeles Metro, Chicago CTA, and San Francisco SFMTA combined.