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Facing driver shortage, South Coast transit system temporarily reducing service

Santa Barbara's MTD has announced plans to temporarily reduce service because of a shortage of drivers.

Santa Barbara's Metropolitan Transit Service wants to ensure it can keep service reliable and sustainable until more drivers can be added.

A South Coast transit system reports its driver shortage is so acute it’s going to have to temporarily reduce service. Santa Barbara’s Metropolitan Transit District doesn't have enough people to keep all of its buses rolling.

MTD officials say they’ve been hit by a combination of normal turnover, COVID-19 illnesses, and retirements. The driver shortage has sometimes meant that bus trips have been cancelled with little or no notice.

So, as of April 25th, they will temporarily reduce service to improve reliability, and sustainability. The reductions are expected to last through the summer.

Information on how MTD’s routes will be impacted will be released next week. The district is aggressively recruiting new drivers, with the goal of bringing back a more complete schedule later in the year.