GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Grand Valley Transit doesn’t have the resources to handle Zero Fare August even with support from the state.
Andrew Gingerich is a transit planner for Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office—the group overseeing Grand Valley Transit. He said, “At the level we have, we’re really maxed out with our drivers. So, if there was an increase in our demand/response side we don’t believe we would be able to handle that very well.”
Money isn’t the issue; a lack of drivers and buses is.
“We just got buses delivered now that was supposed to be here last summer,” said Gingerich, who went on to say that those buses should be on the streets within a few weeks. This will help the fleet but with a lot of older buses, more help is still needed.
“It takes more to keep [the older buses] on the road,” said Gingerich,” but we take safety very seriously, we take our maintenance very seriously.”
“The labor shortage has really been a hindrance to a lot of industries but transit especially,” said Gingerich.
According to Gingerich, they have not been fully staffed since the pandemic. Since then, GVT has raised the bus driver’s wages to $17.00 an hour and will train them for free.