The driver shortage that forced the Westmoreland County Transit Authority to cancel some bus routes last month is moving closer to being resolved as six people are in training, authority officials were told this week.
There have been no service cancellations in almost two weeks, transit authority Executive Director Alan Blahovec told the board at its meeting Thursday in Greensburg.
Some of those drivers could be assigned routes in the near future, said Bill Steinmetz, the Westmoreland County-based general manager for National Express, which operates the authority’s fixed-route and paratransit services.
An Express bus route could resume April 1, Steinmetz said, although no decision was made at the meeting. An afternoon express route from Pittsburgh to Greensburg was canceled late last month.
Some bus routes were canceled and other routes were changed last month as the transit authority found itself short on drivers. At one point last month, 10 drivers missed work.
In addition to the six drivers who are undergoing training, two more drivers who were injured are expected to return to work in May and June.
The authority has 45 active drivers and expects to get to at least 50, Steinmetz said.
For commuters picking up the 3F bus in New Stanton, a new park’n ride lot will be located across the street from the Bob Evans restaurant on Bair Boulevard, said Megan Yuhouse, operations director. The authority was able to get the park’n ride lot from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as a result of the road reconstruction in New Stanton, Yuhouse said.
In Mt. Pleasant, the bus will stop at Ridgeview Apartments on Ridgeview Road, and, in East Huntingdon, at the new Aldi grocery store at the Crossroads Plaza beginning April 1.