Driving Workers Away: The Changes Needed To Improve Hiring and Retention in the Transit Industry

Hiring and retaining employees is one of the most critical marks for a company to reach its goals. Retention is key to cutting expenses and increasing morale within the workplace. Hiring and retaining workers can be a challenge for some industries. The transportation industry has seen its fair share of challenges. For instance, city and school bus driver shortages are happening across the country. However, there are things that companies, businesses, and organizations can do to lessen the number of drivers walking away from the industry.

Why Are Drivers Leaving Their Jobs?

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, mandatory overtime, unpleasant schedules, and unfavorable interactions with riders have led to some drivers quitting their jobs. The American Public Transportation Association took a survey of multiple agencies across the country and found that 96 percent of them are experiencing a shortage. Eighty-four percent of them believe the shortage is impacting their ability to provide quality service.

Reasons for the Shortage

Age of Drivers – Experts believe that retirees make up 24 percent of all workers that have quit. 43 percent of workers in the transit industry are over 55. Experts suggest that companies should plan to continue to see an increase in retirements over the next five to 10 years.

Competition – Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been intense competition for workers. Many companies have added new incentives to help encourage more applicants. Companies that participated in the survey mentioned that 45 percent of workers that left went to jobs outside of the transit industry.

Schedules and Pay – These are the top two reasons why people are leaving the industry. Some companies reported that these two reasons and leading to more departures than before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Hiring Process – Many companies require a drug test, background check, a Commercial Driver’s License, and a driving record from their applicants. APTA suggests that this process be changed and that companies work with legislators to come up with other ways to ensure that drivers are qualified.

Changing Company Practices

After taking the survey, the APTA came up with some solutions that could help companies within the passenger transportation industry to better hire and retain drivers.

Better Wages and Schedules – Companies should begin offering competitive benefits packages and consider perks should as worker housing and student loan/tuition benefits. Businesses can also consider offering incentives for employees that work unfavorable shifts.

Improved Workplace Culture – Creating an employee recognition program is one way to improve workplace culture. It’s been known to boost morale and help with retention.

New Hiring Process – Make the application as simple as possible. Companies could also help applicants to get their CDL permits. APTA also suggests companies offer conditional employment offers while awaiting drug test results or information from a background check to be completed. It’s believed that this will keep applicants interested in the process.

TIB: Keeping You on the Path to Success

Our team at Transportation Insurance Brokers wants to ensure that all of our clients receive what they need to protect their businesses and be successful. That’s why we offer insurance coverage options for charter buses, sightseeing buses, limousines, airport buses, transit buses, school buses, shuttle vans, and vanpools. We also understand that aside from insurance needs, our clients may have other issues that we can help them with. When you improve your company’s hiring and retention methods, you can better ensure the longevity of your business. Please contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business.