TransLink is hiring hundreds of new bus drivers as it gears up to rollout the first in a series of new transit improvements.
TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond says the pledge to beef up the region’s bus fleet means they need to get started early on filling positions.
“We’ve got to hire up a bunch of operators so that we’re ready to put out the bus services as quick as possible, it’s going to be a busy year hiring people. We expect to hire something like 470 operators by the end of this year, 170 of which we need to have in place by April.”
Desmond says this hiring surge is almost comparable to when the bus company had to hire hundreds leading up to the Olympics.
“The priority for first bus service improvements in April will be to add service to the most overcrowded buses throughout the region,” he says.
It’s just one of a slew of measures announced Tuesday as the first phase of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ 10-year transportation plan.
The plan includes adding busses on overcrowded routes and adding routes in underserviced areas.
SeaBus and SkyTrain routes will also see an increase in service.
Additionally, TransLink will begin work on a new light rail system for Surrey and a Broadway Subway SkyTrain extension, with consultations scheduled for next week.
The improvements come with a $2-billion price tag, with the feds chipping in $370-million, and the province $246-million.
TransLink is on the hook for the remaining $1.3-billion, which is being funding through a fare hike of 5-10 cents, and a property tax increase that will vary by regional growth.