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PHOTOS: Graduation Day for 57 Bus Operators at Zerega Bus Depot

New York City Transit
Updated August 18, 2022 5:00 p.m.
Graduation Day for 57 Bus Operators at Zerega Bus Depot

Classes Accelerate Front Line Workforce Regrowth Following Pandemic-Induced Hiring Freeze 

New Classes Join Hundreds of Bus Operators, Train Conductors and Train Operators Who Completed Training in 2021 and 2022 

View Photos from the Graduation 


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) today announced the graduation of 57newly trained bus operators following their successful completion of training at the Zerega Training Center in Castle Hill in the Bronx. These operators will help New York City Transit tackle crew shortage challenges and bolster the frequency of bus service. This marked the formal end of six weeks of intensive training that began in July 2022. 

The graduation took place as NYCT Bus and MTA Bus Company combined ridership hovers between 60 and 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels. 
“This new class of operators means we’re that much closer to reaching pre-pandemic staffing levels,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “And with more operators, we can provide faster and more efficient service for the riders who depend on us to get them where they need to be.” 
“By improving our recruiting efforts and accelerating hiring, we have been able to add more than one thousand bus operators this year,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President for Buses Frank Annicaro. “This group of operators will play an important role in providing the best service possible for our customers.” 
The new employees join 1,099 bus operators, 353 train operators and 451 train conductors who recently completed their training, and the NYCT workers who are expected to be onboarded in the months ahead, part of a deliberate effort by the MTA to rapidly grow the number of bus operators, subway train operators and conductors. A hiring freeze, necessitated by a fiscal crisis that developed during the pandemic, depleted the ranks of bus operators with many veteran workers retiring or leaving their frontline posts. 
Along with improved recruiting efforts and speeding up training for new employees, the MTA addressed the staff shortage by bringing back recently retired train operators, scheduling additional overtime and buying back vacation time. 
The MTA operates more than 5,800 buses that run across 329 routes, carries 16% of the nation’s bus riders, and represents the largest municipal fleet in the nation. In 2019, New York City buses carried more passengers than Los Angeles Metro, Chicago CTA, and San Francisco SFMTA combined.