Baltimore light rail will be on modified schedule in response to operator shortage – Baltimore Sun

Baltimore’s light rail system will be on a modified schedule beginning Sunday, July 10, in response to operator and passenger shortages, Maryland Transit Administration officials announced Tuesday.

The system will operate on a ‘modified Saturday timetable’ during weekdays and trains will arrive every 15 minutes at most stations. Trains will still alternate to BWI Marshall Airport and Glen Burnie every 30 minutes to each southern destination, MTA officials said.

Weekend hours will not be changed.

The change comes as the department finds ridership remains low compared to before the coronavirus pandemic.

“We recognize the essential role that light rail and public transit play in the lives of our riders,” MTA Administrator Holly Arnold said in a statement. “While we are disappointed to have had to take this step, these temporary adjustments will allow our passengers to be confident that their scheduled train will arrive on time. We are working diligently to return to our normal level of service.

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The MTA plans to adjust the schedule during peak hours and special events based on passenger volume. The schedule will be reassessed in the fall, officials said.

Twenty-six of the 79 operator positions are vacant, according to Veronica Battisti, senior director of communications and marketing for MDOT. Twelve positions have been filled and the new hires are currently in the eight-week operator class. To get candidates for the remaining 14 jobs, the agency is expanding recruitment forums and doubling the number of training courses, Battisti said.

“Our efforts to reach full staffing levels is an ongoing process as we anticipate a gradual increase in staff throughout this year,” Battisti said in an email. “We are committed to restoring regular service levels as quickly as possible to provide the service our passengers deserve.”

According to work assignmentoperators can earn between $20.23 and $33.16 per hour.

“The union is at the table with the administration to help identify some fundamental issues internally, seek new ways to incentivize hiring, and improve employee and customer safety to increase ridership,” reads- on in a statement from union president Michael McMillian. representing the operators, Local 1300 of the United Transit Union.

Jose P. Rogers