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MARTA to change some bus schedules amid driver shortage

A majority of routes will run on a 'Saturday schedule,' transportation authorities said.

ATLANTA — MARTA is adjusting bus route schedules temporarily as it deals with bus operator shortages, according to a statement. 

The schedule changes will start Dec. 18.

MARTA authorities said all 113 routes will still be available to riders, but some will run less frequently.

People can anticipate 96 routes running on a "Saturday schedule." 11 routes will operate as usual. People can check bus route schedules online.

MARTA said it is adjusting as staffing shortages continue to plague the public transit industry. According to a news release, MARTA budgets for 1,366 full-time bus drivers and currently has 1,179. 

The public transit authority adds that it is also struggling with absenteeism among its staff, which forces MARTA to cancel routes or change ride schedules last minute. 

“This temporary adjustment to our bus service will reduce uncertainty about when your bus is coming or if it’s coming at all,” MARTA Deputy General Manager of Operations Collie Greenwood said in a statement. “Like almost all transit agencies and other industries we are having to operate with a reduced workforce due to the effects of COVID, and this schedule change allows us to responsibly address this shortage and still provide service our customers can rely on.”

MARTA said it is recruiting bus operators through monthly job fairs and even processing qualified candidates on the spot. MARTA said it has streamlined its hiring process as well.

Those interested in job opportunities with the transit authority are invited to apply on their website.