Motor City Hiring: Detroit Seeks 30 Transit Drivers

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Detroit's struggling transit system is undergoing a revitalization of sorts. The city with an unemployment rate of 16.4 percent is hiring 30 more new bus drivers for the city's mass transit system, hoping to bring the total of recent hires to 50 overall.

A Google search of 'Detroit bus system problems' tells its reputation. Broken buses, hours of waiting and crime are frequent complaints of passengers and drivers alike. With the city's problems well established, it may seem hard to recruit new employees, even if they need the work.

Wage is a pressing issue the city has tried to tackle. At $8.40 per hour, trainees are making just above minimum wage. This is a sensitive issue Detroit Department of Transportation chief Dan Dirks recently addressed. "We are getting applications. We're just going to keep banging and try to recruit as many new folks as we can. But it is a challenge, there's no question about it."

The trainee wage may not get many people excited, but a raise to $10.14 an hour after training may entice applicants. Furthermore, salaries can reach up to $15.70 per hour, with an annual salary of $31,000.

Once training concludes, new drivers train on routes with veteran drivers before they have their own line. Adding the newly trained drivers helps ease the city's understaffing woes with skilled drivers. Adding to the city's upgrades, equipping buses with cameras and police on more routes should alleviate fears for both drivers and riders.

The Department of Transportation acknowledges that this is not a job for everyone. But with a desire to want it, and ability to manage stress, it could be a rewarding career for 50 individuals in need of a wage.

For a detailed look at Detroit's transit recruitment, visit The Detroit News.
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