Capital Metro says staff shortage and COVID-19 driving below-standard service

Capital Metro is short 100 bus operators and ten vehicle technicians. (Community Impact Staff)
Capital Metro is short 100 bus operators and ten vehicle technicians. (Community Impact Staff)

Capital Metro is short 100 bus operators and ten vehicle technicians. (Community Impact Staff)

Capital Metro apologized for providing service below its standards in recent weeks during its board meeting Aug. 30.

According to Capital Metro documents, it is short 100 bus operators and ten vehicle technicians. It has 31 bus operators in training.

“The nationwide workforce has changed a good bit over the last 18 months, and our current shortage is really in crisis,” said Dottie Watkins, Capital Metro chief operating officer.

Watkins said COVID-19 absences have exacerbated its staffing shortage, with between 20 to 25 absences related to COVID-19 everyday.

Capital Metro also plans to make minor reductions to its service and proactively communicate with customers.


“We will be reducing frequencies on a temporary basis while we take the time to staff up,” Watkins said.

She added that Capital Metro will release a more detailed plan later this week.

Capital Metro President Randy Clarke said service has been particularly strained as ridership has increased in recent weeks.

“I do want to apologize to our community that we can't run the service that we as staff would like to run,” Clarke said. “It's especially challenging as ridership is coming back fairly quickly.”
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.



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