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Akron METRO RTA hosting daylong bus driver hiring event Wednesday

You can apply in person at the Kenmore Boulevard location from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Posted at 7:25 AM, Feb 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 07:25:58-05

AKRON, Ohio — Akron's METRO RTA is actively looking to meet the riders' needs and hire more bus drivers.

Starting Wednesday morning, the agency is hosting an all-day long bus driver hiring event.

You can apply in person at the Kenmore Boulevard location from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You must be at least 18 years old and have no more than two points on your license.

Officials say they're looking to fill the driver shortage by hiring upwards of 50 people.

"We're looking at this event as a way to get as many good jobs, to good people as possible," Jarrod Hampshire, Chief Operations Officer for METRO RTA serving Summit County said.

METRO RTA's Chief Operations Officer Jarrod Hampshire says the title of the event is quite literal.

Once you apply at the "Come Drive with( B ) us: The Sequel" hiring fair, you can test drive the bus on site.

"Maybe the barrier was, I don't think I can drive a bus. Right. Well, come out to a closed parking lot, very controlled with our people. We'll let you take one around," Hampshire said. .

It's an all hands-on deck efforts, as the METRO RTA works to find new untapped drivers to take on area routes across Summit County.

A number of retirements and prior drivers choosing different career paths opened up several vacancies.

It all comes as the agency enters the public comment section of the system re-design called "Re-imagine METRO"--aiming to make transit more useful for more riders.

"Making it a smoother, easier ride for people. You know, be more accommodating," Dymond Knight of Akron said.

The agency hosted the initial "Come Drive with (B) us" event back in the Summer of 2022.

Officials successfully interviewed 99 candidates and took on a training class of 35 drivers, the largest class in years.

At one point, Akron METRO RTA was short 90 drivers.

Hampshire tells News 5 that recruitment and engagement are critical to meet the growing rider demand.

"If a desk job is in your future, this isn't for you. If you're somebody that really wants to get out and see how your community moves every day, then this job is for you," Hampshire said.

The application process will take roughly one hour.

If you land the gig and complete the training, the union pay scale for drivers increases over time.

"We start people just north of $17 an hour. But their top rate, which they climb up to between four and five years, is about $31 an hour," Hampshire said.

The goal is to get drivers trained and ready to hit the road by May.

You're encourage to bring you license and at least three references.

Metro RTA's "Come Drive with ( B )us: The Sequel" is happening at 416 Kenmore Boulevard which is the METRO's administrative offices.

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