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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 04, 2013, 09:07 PM

MATBUS seeing driver shortage

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Matbus has seen a 35% increase in routes and rider ship. One thing they haven't seen is an increase in pay for drivers, but that could change soon.

By: Rebecca Lebak, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Matbus has seen a 35% increase in routes and rider ship. One thing they haven't seen is an increase in pay for drivers, but that could change soon.

With 25 routes and over 50 shifts needing to be filled, the Metro Area Transit is having a hard time keeping up with demand. A large part of that is because of the oil work out West.

The problem that Metro Transit is running into is that people are coming in wanting to work. MATBUS provides them with the chance to get their commercial driver’s license, provided by First Transit. Then, as soon as they get it, they move out west onto a higher paying job.

Right now MATBUS drivers make $11.16 an hour, but the City Commission is considering increasing pay to $13 an hour as a way to get closer to the competition. Most truck drivers in the oil fields make around $20 an hour, but our area does have one incentive.

Matthew Peterson - General Manager, First Transit: "We get several truck drivers who actually come in and want to work for us because they want to be home. They’re home every night, they don’t have to be out on the road, you know, they get to sleep in their own beds every night."

MATBUS is expecting around 2 million rides this year, but that can only happen if there are drivers.

Right now starting drivers make just over $23,000 a year. The raise would bring it to $27,000.

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