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Agency offers a $2,500 signing bonus on top of the starting hourly pay of $21.36, which had been increased by $4 in October.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A TriMet bus in downtown Portland.TriMet has announced that it will limit bus service beginning Jan. 9 due to a staffing shortage.

The agency is experiencing its largest operator shortfall in history, despite it efforts to hire new drivers. Earlier this week, TriMet announced it would be offering a $2,500 signing bonus on top of the starting hourly pay of $21.36, which had been increased by $4 in October.

Bus service will be reduced by 9%, affecting 21 of the 84 bus lines during weekdays. According to TriMet, this change will return it to the level of service offered in April 2020, in response to the pandemic.

"By taking this step we increase the schedule reliability so riders experience less canceled or late buses," a TriMet spokesperson said. The agency tried to maintain service in low-income and BIPOC communities, along with service that connects to education, jobs, health care and service centers.

Riders can expect buses to arrive about every 15 minutes during rush hours.

Despite the operator shortage, TriMet will add service during weekdays on Line 32-OatField by stopping between Oregon City and Milwaukie.

A complete list of affected bus lines and more information can be found here.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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