Metro Transit abruptly suspends 67 bus trips amid bus driver shortage

The transit company is aggressively trying to hire more drivers.
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Blue Line replacement bus

Metro Transit indefinitely suspended 67 daily trips in the Twin Cities starting Tuesday, saying they won't return until they have more drivers.

The Twin Cities' biggest transit provider says it's about 90 bus drivers short of its target, which is making it harder to cover all of its scheduled services "despite tremendous daily efforts to do so."

The 67 trips have been cut from 40 routes across the Metro Transit system, and represent about 1 percent of all weekday bus trips.

It include 6 trips on the Route 3 service between Minneapolis and St. Paul, 4 trips on the Route 270 express service between Mahtomedi and Minneapolis, and 3 trips on the Route 11 between Columbia Heights and South Minneapolis.

"Suspending trips will allow Metro Transit to focus on fulfilling all scheduled service," the company said.

"The decision also reflects a desire to proactively communicate with customers so alternative plans can be made."

The company said the changes will also reduce the number of trips that are being canceled last minute.

You can see the full list of affected services here.

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The difficulty in finding new bus drivers comes in a year when several high profile assaults of Metro Transit drivers have been shared on social media.

Ryan Timlin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005, told the Star Tribune that this could be putting off potential applicants.

The main cause of the driver shortage though is thought to be the current strong economy and low unemployment levels, the newspaper notes.

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