As you may know, we recently announced changes to our schedule, going into effect on Monday, May 7, 2018. This difficult decision was made in response to a current shortage of motor coach drivers.
Unfortunately, this driver shortage is not exclusive to Trans-Bridge Lines. This shortage has become a widespread problem throughout the country and has affected our fellow bus companies, our local competitors, and the trucking industry.
While our service has only been significantly impacted within recent months, this problem has been a source of concern over recent years. Trans-Bridge Lines entered a driver shortage in 2016 after multiple drivers left on medical leave, retirement, due to DOT rule violations or found other work. While we were able to somewhat recover, we found it difficult to hire and retain the number of drivers we would prefer to employ for optimal service. In response to this initial shortage, we substantially reduced the number of charter buses we offered.
In recent months, we experienced a sudden loss of drivers, again, due to the causes mentioned above. We anticipated hiring and training more drivers without changing our regular route service. Unfortunately, this loss of drivers continued and, in light of this, we began an aggressive plan to recover, which included these changes to service.
Following the announcement of the service changes, we’ve received feedback from many of our customers voicing concern. We want you to know, our Operations Department meticulously reviewed passenger counts and schedule times for our service after much deliberation and careful consideration for our customers. We decided to eliminate service at the times with higher frequencies of service and extra capacity in order to accommodate all our passengers who use our service throughout the day.
Furthermore, we must state that we will not be reducing fares due to this reduction of service as we did not increase rates as service was initially added. Additionally, we have never added surcharges to bus runs with lower ridership. That said, Trans-Bridge Lines has the youngest fleet in the region and is among the safest bus companies on the road. We will be continuing our investment in newer buses for each route and expect to place them into service by the fourth quarter.
We understand the frustration and confusion our passengers are experiencing. Please know, our intention is not to inconvenience any of our customers but to operate service in the safest, most efficient way to ensure we can accommodate as many passengers as possible.
Trans-Bridge Lines remains fully committed to recovering our roster of drivers and improving service for the future so we may better serve our customers. We ask for your patience as we navigate this difficult situation and we truly apologize for any inconvenience incurred from these impending changes.
We encourage all passengers to stay up-to-date with any service changes by following our Twitter feed @TransBridgeBus, which is also viewable on our Alerts page of our website. In order to view the impending schedule changes, you may visit our website here.
Once again, Thank you for your patience and understanding. Trans-Bridge Lines appreciates your patronage.