There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meanwhile, back at The Bee . . .

The Bee weighs in with its opinion of Sacramento Regional Transit's efforts to cope with a massive budget shortfall. The re-balancing efforts are fine, The Bee says, even the possible fare hikes, but . . .

The fare hike should draw fresh attention to its ongoing failure to reduce absenteeism among drivers. On average, RT bus drivers and light rail operators work just 206 days or 41 weeks out of the year. That's an astonishing 11 weeks or almost 3 months off a year for the average driver. This absenteeism increases overtime and drives up costs.

By contrast, in neighboring Yolo County, YoloBus drivers are available on average 239 days, or almost 48 weeks out of the year. YoloBus has not had to raise fares and has even increased service in Woodland. RT might want to consult with YoloBus on ways to reduce absenteeism among its drivers.
It would be interesting to hear something from RT on this topic. The monthly staff reports point out that RT has a goal for improving absenteeism and that RT efforts have exceeded those goals. Is this just a case of setting goals too low?

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