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Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: Connect ()
Date: May 08, 2019 03:36PM

https://www.tysonsreporter.com/2019/05/07/fairfax-connectors-recent-driver-shortages-impacting-riders/

Updated: Fairfax Connector’s Recent Driver Shortages Impacting Riders
Catherine Douglas Moran May 7, 2019 at 3:30pm

Updated at 5:05 p.m. — Tysons Reporter interviewed FCDOT Director Tom Biesiadny, who provided more information about the driver shortage and advice for bus riders.

The Fairfax Connector currently doesn’t have enough bus drivers.

A service operation alert on the Fairfax Connector BusTracker website today (May 7) says that the shortage is affecting the entire bus system. The alert says:

The Fairfax Connector bus operations contractor is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers which is impacting service delivery. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our passengers’ patience as the contractor is working diligently to recruit drivers and add staffing, when possible, to minimize further impacts.

Tom Biesiadny, the director of Fairfax County’s transportation department, told Tysons Reporter that work is underway with MV Transportation, the current bus system’s operator, on the shortage.

“We are working with the contractor to make sure we have the staff that is needed to operate the bus system on a daily basis,” he said.

In addition to the contractor hiring more drivers — something that Biesiadny said has always been a challenge in the area, FCDOT is working to figure out which routes will be least impacted by missed or delayed buses.

“What we’re trying to do is to ensure that if there are trips that are going to be missed that we make sure that it’s not affecting the same route all of the time,” he said.

He said that the driver shortage varies day by day, with Fridays tending to be more problematic. “This is a relatively recent problem to the extent it is affecting all of our trips,” he said.

The shortages began about a week after the announcement that Fairfax County awarded a five-year contract to Transdev North America to operate the Fairfax Connector starting July 1.

Biesiadny said that the contractor switch may be one of the causes behind the shortage.

“Anytime you’re transitioning from one contractor to another contractor there are uncertainties in the workforce,” he said. “I wouldn’t discount that. I wouldn’t say that’s the entire reason.”

Some people took to Twitter to share delayed buses — or ones that never showed up at all — have caused transportation headaches.

Yo, @ffxconnector, what's up with the 631 bus? Three times this week the 6am EB bus has been a no show. When is this issue going to be resolved? Telling riders to check the Bus Tracker isn't a solution when we're already out there waiting for a bus that only comes 2x an hour.

— Bekki Weaver (@noitsbekki) May 2, 2019

@ffxconnector why does the bus on route 651 not show up at the scheduled time around 6:40 am for the past two mornings??? The wait time is causing a lot of ppl to run late to work due to inconsistency in following the schedule.

— RN (@rnmair121) May 3, 2019

461 and 466 not running? People need to get to work but we've spent the last hour waiting for buses that area not coming @ffxconnector????? No communication unless someone calls to complain? We need another provider of public transportation… So frustrating!!!!!!!!!

— Young J Kim (@YoungJ91) May 3, 2019

@fairfaxcounty Fairfax connector bus scheduled for 7.55am to Vienna metro has not showed up for the past 2 days. #FairfaxCounty #FAIL

— narayana sundaram (@narayanais) May 2, 2019

One person noted that the same driver shortage alert popped up earlier this month on Friday, May 3.

Fairfax Connector alert: buses might be late because MV Transportation doesn't have enough bus drivers.

(Is this a short-term thing, just today? Long-term? What are the impacts? I have several questions?) pic.twitter.com/CHp0KPl7Xv

— Stephen Repetski (@srepetsk) May 3, 2019

The reader who tipped Tysons Reporter off about the shortage also expressed concern for people using alternative transportation in the Tysons-area tomorrow (May 8) — the same day that some Uber and Lyft drivers plan to strike.

Biesiadny stressed the importance of planning trips and using resources like Twitter, Facebook, BusTracker, texting stop IDs to 414-11 and the customer service number as a way for people to find out the bus schedules.

“We’re trying to reach out to passengers but also we also want passengers to reach out to us,” he said.



Up to 30 minutes prior, real-time bus tracking if a four digit bus number has been been assigned to a bus https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bustime/eta/eta.jsp . If not, you may think about driving to work, Uber/Lyft, bike, telecommuting, etc.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: CDL driver ()
Date: May 12, 2019 08:12AM

This issue is everywhere. there is a nation wide shortage of CDL operators in all jobs connected to a CDL. School bus drivers, trash truck drivers its all over.

There are 65 school bus drivers needed just for Fairfax county along. I don't have the numbers for trash truck drivers but they are just as bad.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: realll ()
Date: May 12, 2019 10:20AM

If they raised their pay they wouldn't have this problem but the companies are too cheap to pay for good drivers or at least train new ones.

Also I wouldn't want to be a bus driver- all those...PEOPLE...to deal with. I'd rather go drive a dump truck or OTR alone.

Plus over a few years of riding the connector- 50+ trips taken a year- I think I have only met 3 white drivers. That says a lot.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: Riders of the storm ()
Date: May 12, 2019 10:44AM

The current buses are excellent. Does Fairfax County own the buses? If not I’m wondering if the new contractor will mean crappy buses once they take over.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: HYVYX ()
Date: May 13, 2019 05:50AM

Fairfax County does own the Connector buses (in FxCo budget docs online at their website). So same buses with the new contractor. What will change is the new contractor Transdev personnel operating and servicing the buses including regular maintenance. Concerns with Transdev, read employee reviews at indeed.com, some unhappy with poor planning in work scheduling, rude dispatchers, and issues getting paychecks, but from handful of reviews read no mention about working at bus garages; however, overall morale at Transdev is not good.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: tpnpb ()
Date: May 13, 2019 10:15AM


The busses aren't missing a thing.



THey're not in the county lot because they are being used to pick up illegal aliens or were sold to mexico's corrupt goverernment for quick cash.

That's what happenes when you let illegal aliens into the government, run by an old corrupt woman from Maryland who's boss is hispanic into government.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: Demographer ()
Date: May 14, 2019 07:08PM

The shortage is so bad that I have begun to spot white bus drivers on some of the Connector bus routes.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: CYGXM ()
Date: May 14, 2019 07:52PM

Demographer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The shortage is so bad that I have begun to spot
> white bus drivers on some of the Connector bus
> routes.

Wonder if they brought them in from other parts of the USA. From where was at before years ago, used the Loudoun County Commuter Bus service, which drivers were from Transdev, who wildcat struck one day in 2015
https://www.loudountimes.com/news/thursday-update-loudoun-commuter-bus-drivers-hold-unsanctioned-sickout/article_31cbba7a-3dcd-5c18-8eb9-6ad763346a9c.html . They brought in workers from the Midwest, Chicago area specifically, which a couple of the replacement drivers shared with me they were from. With Fairfax Connector transitioning its contractor from MV Transit to Transdev, wondered if that is what they have done? I ride the Connector less frequently now than used to some time back.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: Drivers Going 2 Greener Pastures ()
Date: May 23, 2019 07:20AM

CDL driver Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This issue is everywhere. there is a nation wide
> shortage of CDL operators in all jobs connected to
> a CDL. School bus drivers, trash truck drivers
> its all over.
>
> There are 65 school bus drivers needed just for
> Fairfax county along. I don't have the numbers for
> trash truck drivers but they are just as bad.

Perhaps many of the drivers went to drive for Lyft and/or Uber. Drivers get tips that way and overall better passengers, exceptions though.

As a side note, one morning needed a ride to the park-and-ride lot a few miles away to catch the Fairfax Connector commuter bus, when I did not have a car available that AM, local close relative needed it. And my Lyft/Uber driver part time work with that, learned he also had a job driving buses for Fairfax Connector.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: The Future ()
Date: May 23, 2019 07:39AM

Maybe this will all improve when we get driverless cars. They are testing in Phoenix https://waymo.com/faq/ , but still a lot of technical issues to work out. Reading articles across the internet and social media posts, like
- How can you text message a driverless car to show up at a particular building entrance, if multiple entrances? Just think if ever used Lyft or Uber and the driver cannot find you at the medical or office building with two or more entrances? Google Maps only has one marking for each building almost always, plus GPS is only so accurate, as have had issues with it if less than 100 feet.
- Problems with cars driving on snow covered roads, where the car cannot 'see' the lane markings. But hey, Phoenix hardly ever gets snow.
- Insurance and legal issues. Driverless car hits person which has already happened. Other situations. Who is responsible when an accident? Though overall driverless cars have a better track safety record than human driven cars.
- Nine different GPS systems in USA https://www.gps.gov/support/user/mapfix/devices-and-maps/ all with errors.
- Rollout of 5G network by Verizon, AT&T, T-Moile/Sprint so autonomous cars can talk with each others. Its going to be years in many areas reading this article https://www.tysonsreporter.com/2019/01/07/what-5g-means-for-tysons/ , but the service is up and running for Verizon at the Nationals Ball Park in DC.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: Driving the cheese ()
Date: May 23, 2019 08:06AM

It's no win situation given the animals that ride the nog hauler.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: VXMXW ()
Date: May 23, 2019 08:25AM

Very few times have rode the Fairfax Connector in western Fairfax County, when car break down for a few days. Guess what, as passengers, white people and people around the world on the buses, very few African Americans, and the backgrounds of the drivers are similar. Metrobuses, none in Centreville and Chantilly, believe their workforce is over 95% African American. I guess what you are saying depends on what part of the county you live in. I would expect that kind of ridership in Hybla Valley and Gum Springs.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: DanKnows ()
Date: May 23, 2019 08:44AM

I know a guy who retired from a banking career, and was tired of nor having something to do. He had seen the signs for school bus drivers and thought "Perfect, not an all day job, give me something to do, etc, etc, etc.". Well he signed up, did the training and the first day of school he's doing a Middle School run. There's an altercation involving minority students, he stops the bus tells the kids to calm down, they start yelling at him to get going, swearing, calling him names. So, her gets on his cell phone and calls whatever office he reports to and tells them to come and get the bus because he was quitting! They tried to talk him out of it but he said he wasn't paid enough to drive a bus, referee fights, and tolerate name calling.

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Re: Fairfax Connector Driver Bus Shortage, Missing Bus Runs
Posted by: PumpkinEater69 ()
Date: May 23, 2019 09:37AM

DanKnows Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know a guy who retired from a banking career,
> and was tired of nor having something to do. He
> had seen the signs for school bus drivers and
> thought "Perfect, not an all day job, give me
> something to do, etc, etc, etc.". Well he signed
> up, did the training and the first day of school
> he's doing a Middle School run. There's an
> altercation involving minority students, he stops
> the bus tells the kids to calm down, they start
> yelling at him to get going, swearing, calling him
> names. So, her gets on his cell phone and calls
> whatever office he reports to and tells them to
> come and get the bus because he was quitting! They
> tried to talk him out of it but he said he wasn't
> paid enough to drive a bus, referee fights, and
> tolerate name calling.


That's reality. Bus drivers aren't allowed to do shit and the kids know it. And God forbid you try to deal with a niglet chimp out on your bus. You'd be fired if he doesn't stab you to death. Not worth the few sheckles of pay.

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