Rural transit providers reflect on the impact of the pandemic

The Tillamook County Transportation District operates a fleet of 32 buses from its headquarters in Tillamook, OR. Like other transit agencies during the pandemic, it has reduced service due to a shortage of drivers.

Tillamook County Transportation District

Earlier this month, TriMet announced it was cutting service on nearly a quarter of its bus routes due to an unprecedented driver shortage – and this despite increased salaries and bonuses for new drivers. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on other major transit providers as ridership plummeted, budgets contracted and labor issues piled up. But what has been the impact on rural transit providers who typically have smaller budgets to cover larger service areas than their metropolitan counterparts? We hear from Doug Pilant, General Manager of Tillamook County Transportation District; Adrian Mateos, general manager of the Basin Transit Service in Klamath Falls; and Rob Johnson, safety and maintenance manager for Kayak Public Transit’s transit fleet in Pendleton.

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