AP NEWS

Shortage of drivers fuels industry hiring need

March 18, 2019

In the coming years, thousands of commercial drivers are expected to be needed in Texas, according to industry representatives.

This trend is largely due to the upcoming retirement of current truck and bus drivers. This makes job opportunities favorable for people coming into this occupation and/or those wanting to advance within it.

Bus drivers

“We’re always looking for qualified full- and part-time bus operators. Our bus operators are the backbone of our organization. Each day they transport on average 219,000 passengers safely and courteously over specified routes throughout the Houston region,” said Monica Russo, press office, Public Affairs, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.

Russo said that METRO offers a comprehensive benefits package to its employees, including medical, dental, life, and retirement savings plans, as well as training and development resources.

“We encourage folks to visit www.ridemetro.org/Pages/Careers.aspx to learn more about the numerous employment opportunities we offer and apply for them. Many people don’t realize that we also have jobs in marketing, customer service, accounting, law enforcement and so many other fields,” said Russo.

Information about salary, responsibilities and specific duties, required drug/alcohol tests, minimum qualifications, and other requirements can be found at ridemetro.org. For a video on hiring bus operators, visit www.ridemetro.org/Pages/METRO-Hiring-Bus-Operators.aspx.

“Greyhound is hiring full-time, professional motor coach operators nationwide that have a safe driving record and stellar customer service to provide to our passengers. Professional operators must be available to work an ‘on-call’ lifestyle, including holidays and weekends, and can possibly qualify for a bonus depending on their credentials and experience,” said Sarah Singer, manager, Training & Development, Greyhound Lines Inc. “One new trend we have seen in the past year is an influx of female drivers.”

Singer said that they encourage anyone interested to visit https://drivegreyhound.com, where they can find additional information or apply from the website.

Trucking training, requirements

Commercial truck drivers usually have a high school diploma or GED and attend a professional truck driving school or take truck driving courses at a community college. There are many options for this in the Houston area, including San Jacinto College, Lone Star College and Houston Community College, so earning a commercial driver’s license and getting on the road can be easily done.

After hiring, drivers often get additional on-the-job training, which adds to their professional knowledge and skill set. They also must have a CDL to be a part of the industry.