SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) – The San Mateo County Transit District has announced that one of its express bus routes will be suspended, citing a shortage of drivers.
According to the agency’s website, the ECR Rapid Route running from the Daly City BART station to the Redwood City Transit Center will be halted as of Sunday, January 19th.
“SamTrans, like other transit agencies in the region, is working to recruit and train new operators. Route ECR continues to provide service along the El Camino Real corridor,” the agency said. The agency did not announce when the rapid service would resume.
The ECR Rapid route was launched in June of 2018 to speed up service on the agency’s highest performing route, which has about 9,000 riders each weekday.
Transit agencies in the Bay Area and across the country have struggled to counter operator shortages based on a host of factors, from an aging workforce, to high housing costs, to high-profile assaults scaring off potential recruits.
In San Francisco, a lack of drivers led to “hundreds of buses sitting in Muni garages, undriven” in the summer of 2018, the Examiner reported, leading to a plan to hire more operators with the goal to end the shortage by 2021.
SamTrans will continue to operate its other express bus services, including the FCX, a commuter line from Foster City to Downtown San Francisco.