Thank you for your commitment to the Red Bird Express and transit in St. Clair County. While we are beginning to see the region open, the pandemic has impacted the transit industry significantly. There has been a decrease in the number of operators available due to the impacts of COVID-19 including the devasting loss of several drivers. With the shortage in operators right now, the 2021 Red Bird Express remains un-scheduled. Please see the public notice below, provided by Metro, the contracted bus service.
Working Through MetroBus Service Challenges
May 28, 2021
Metro Transit is committed to delivering reliable, on-time service to our customers, and in the past few weeks we have had some difficulty in operating the service you expect. Like many businesses in the St. Louis region, we are experiencing workforce shortages. Other transit agencies around the country are also dealing with workforce shortages, especially with bus operators.
We apologize for any inconvenience you have already experienced or may experience in the coming weeks. We want you to know we are working hard to get you where you need to go aboard Metro. Recruiting and training bus operators is a high priority for Metro right now. The current class of operators will graduate and go into service in mid-June, and then we will have classes graduating every eight weeks or so after that.
In addition to the operator shortage at Metro Transit, we are seeing increased absenteeism, and that is requiring a larger number of extra operators to provide service. Rest assured, we are utilizing all of our operator resources, and our qualified managers are also driving buses. We have also asked our bus operators to work longer days and come in on scheduled days off so that we can continue to move the St. Louis region. For everyone’s safety, we are mindful of the U.S. Department of Transportation hours of service limitations.
We thank those bus operators who are working overtime to help get you to work, to the doctor, grocery store and other important destinations. They have been working diligently through this pandemic and are continuing to step up to the plate.
If you know of anyone 21 and older who has a high school education and is seeking a job with great pay, benefits, and a stable future who wants to serve people, please encourage them to apply.
Metro Customer Service is here to assist you so please do not hesitate to reach out to check on your bus. We do our best to have cancelled trips updated in the Transit app so you can check there or call Customer Service with your questions at 314-231-2345 or text 314-207-9786. Our team is standing by to help you Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanks again for your understanding and patience during this challenging time.