By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer
The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) is looking for a few good drivers. SacRT is hosting two in-person hiring events this month, with the goal of adding bus drivers to help fill a void the company is currently experiencing.
Riders have been feeling the brunt recently, some days experiencing long delays or the outright cancellation of hundreds of runs. Current bus operators say they’re exasperated too, telling frustrated riders that COVID-19 has taken a toll on an already burdened system.
The transit provider is looking to fill full-time and part-time positions for Sacramento area routes, Paratransit and Elk Grove service. SacRT will provide paid training and assistance with obtaining necessary permits and commercial driver licenses. It provides a benefits package that includes medical, dental, paid sick leave, retirement, and tuition reimbursement. There is also a $2,000 signing bonus for drivers.
“SacRT is continuously hiring bus operators, but with the pandemic and nationwide worker shortage, we found that holding in-person hiring events is an effective way to get people interested in a career with SacRT,” said Jessica Gonzalez, director of Marketing, Communications and Public Information.
Two in-person events, focused on hiring for all positions, were held in December.
Careers in transportation have long been considered to be “good jobs” by African Americans, who in the not so distant past were made to sit in the back of buses or segregated, substandard train cars, even though they’d paid the same fare as White travelers. An African American woman, Dr. Beverly Scott, served as SacRT’s general manager from 2002-2007 before moving on to the top leadership position with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
According to Gonzalez, 37% of all SacRT operators are African American. Another 4% identify as mixed race.
“Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, SacRT is above the national average of African Americans employed in bus service and urban transit, which is 32.6% nationwide,” Gonzalez said.
SacRT is currently looking to hire at least 60 operators across all bus operator openings, which includes fixed route (bus), Elk Grove (part-time), SmaRT Ride, and SacRT GO Paratransit Services.
The hiring events are scheduled to be held at SacRT’s Administration Building, located at 1400 29th Street, on Tuesday, March 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The auditorium is accessible by bus routes 38, 67, 68 and light rail to the 29th Street Station.
SacRT is offering free rides for candidates attending either of the hiring sessions. A flier can be found online and printed out from sacrt.com/hiringevents. Riders can also show a screenshot of the flier on their cell phones.
Candidates should bring a valid ID, employment history (last 10 years of work), residential history and conviction history (last seven years), and a DMV driver record print out. To learn more, visit sacrt.com/careers.