FAX in need of bus drivers, looking to fill 40 positions

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Department of Transportation is looking for drivers to help with their Fresno Area Express routes throughout the city.

Officials say within the last two years, they have been experiencing a big decrease in interested applicants, dropping from 120 to only 40 applicants.

"Our current staffing levels, they are working six days a week, we are doing everything we can to keep all levels of service out in the street," said Joe Vargas, Director of Transportation with Fresno Area Express.

FAX provides 18 routes of transportation throughout the community. Officials say that the situation has become too dire and they are trying to prevent cutting transportation, so they are calling on anyone who may be interested in becoming a city bus driver.

"So the minimum qualifications is a high school diploma or an equivalent GED, two years of customer service experience and also they must be in possession of a valid driver's license with three years of driving experience," explained Vargas

Those that meet the qualifications would begin training as a student driver, where they will learn how to perform all qualified duties of a bus driver.

Student trainees are a part of an eight-week training program with a starting pay of above $20 per hour. Upon completion, bus drivers' pay is increased to $23 to start.

"If we continue down this path, we certainly will have a difficult time in supporting current service levels, our customers will be impacted," added Vargas.

Vargas says his current fleet of bus drivers are ready for any additional help they can get.

"Work-life balance for a lot of them is non-existent during this time, and again, they are front line employees, they have been at it throughout the entire pandemic. They are really heroes for our customers who are trying to get jobs in healthcare and education," said Vargas.

FAX officials say their last alternative is to diminish services, but they need bus drivers currently with over 40 positions to fill.
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