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COVID-19 produces immediate need for workers at Cap Metro

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority system ridership has fallen every day since March 10 as the effects of the coronavirus spread throughout Austin, but the transit agency is increasing its workforce in order to remain reliable and safe for those in need of public transit during the crisis.

Although Capital Metro has scaled back service for the moment, the agency announced plans last week to add up to 100 full-time bus drivers and 50 part-time bus cleaners to meet new sanitation standards and make up for a temporarily diminished staff.

Spokesperson Mariette Hummel said the agency was already significantly understaffed before the pandemic began. Now, she said, many bus operators and staffers are staying home, whether they are sick themselves or need to care for others or be with their children.

“When we return to normal service levels down the road we will need the staff,” Hummel said.

Part-time bus cleaners could begin work as early as today, earning $15 per hour to wipe bus interior surfaces with a disinfectant intended to stop the spread of the virus. Capital Metro will provide employees with safety equipment like goggles, gloves and safety vests. Applicants may apply online at the Capital Metro career site.

Drivers will begin in the near future, following a 4- to 6-week training period. Full-time driving positions come with benefits, a $1,500 sign-on bonus and a $17 hourly wage. Those with a clean driving record and a valid license can apply Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at 9315 Old McNeil Road or 2910 E. Fifth St. or online at MV Transportation’s website.

Photo by Sahmeditor/CC BY-SA 3.0.

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