CINCINNATI — Metro will host a job fair this weekend in the hopes of hiring dozens of new bus operators. The hiring goal aims to allow the transit agency to move forward with plans to expand and enhance bus services in the greater Cincinnati region.

What You Need To Know

  • Metro will host a job fair this weekend as part of an ongoing effort to attract new drivers

  • The transit agency needs roughly 50-75 new drivers to help expand services and implement its Reinventing Metro plan

  • Staffing challenges have affected bus systems across the country

  • The hiring event will take place on Saturday at 1401 Bank St.

The hiring event will take place on Saturday, May 14, at Metro’s Queensgate Division (1401 Bank St.). It will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those who plan to attend don’t have to RSVP. But for those who plan to apply, submit your application online prior to the event, if possible.

Metro hasn't been shy about its struggles to retain and recruit staff, especially bus drivers, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an issue affecting transportation companies across the country.

The agency needs additional drivers to help cover existing routes as well as expand its service. Metro has about 475 drivers on its payroll, but it wants to add another 100 to 150 more by the end of the year.

They’ve held several job fairs over the past few months, including its most recent on March 17. They’ve also had an aggressive social media campaign.

The driver shortage has at least played a role in service changes in recent months – some more minor, others more drastic, such as those in December that affected 22 routes. Those adjustments included a mixture of trip consolidations and schedule adjustments as well as the elimination of an express route to Forest Park.

Staffing challenges have also limited Metro's ability to implement aspects of its Reinventing Metro plan, which aims to better connect greater Cincinnati residents to jobs, school and medical services.

“Because of the nationwide driver shortage, we've had to make adjustments to our current service in an effort to improve service reliability for our customers,” Metro spokesperson Brandy Jones said in January. “We've also been very strategic about the timing of and which service improvements to implement based on factors that include staffing levels and ridership patterns and needs.”

Troy Miller, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 627, which represents Metro employees, said part of the challenge of hiring drivers has to do with needing to find the “right fit” for the position. The unique schedule of bus service is one challenge, Miller said. He also mentioned that some applicants run into complications during the background check and screening processes.

Part of Metro’s sales pitch to would-be drivers is a new contract reached several months ago between the bus driver’s union, the ATU and Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which operates Metro.

The contract guarantees “better pay, benefits and stability” than anytime in the agency’s history, according to Metro. Drivers start at $21 per hour.

Other benefits include: 

  • Paid training at $19 per hour, which includes commercial driver’s license (CDL) training and reimbursement for CDL licensing fees.

  • Opportunities to earn premium pay rates on high-demand routes

  • $2,000 signing bonus upon completion of training and 95-day probationary period

  • Pay increases every six months

Metro also provides comprehensive health and dental benefits, retirement benefits and discounted transportation passes for a spouse and dependents.

For more information, visit or call 513-632-7559.