They Are Practically Begging People To Become Metro Bus Drivers
Thursday, January 20 2011 @ 11:34 am EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
This morning the director of INADEH, Themistocles Rosas, was clear in saying that although someone might not currently be a bus driver, those who are interested can apply to take the courses provided by the entity which make it easier to obtain the appropriate license. There is also an advertising campaign making the same call constantly, asking people to come and learn how to be bus drivers. When the managers of the Metrobus system were asked when they will complete the activation of all routes of the Southern Corridor and commence with those of the Northern Corridor, no one dares to give an exact date. But anytime they are given the opportunity to speak in public they always make a call to ask people to come and seek a position of employment with this company.
La Estrella consulted Esteban Rodriguez of the National Transportation Board (CANATRA), who said the blame for the lack of staff should fall on the recruiters of the Mi Bus company (that is responsible for operating the Metrobus system). Rodriguez reported the company gives "inhuman treatment to their drivers." He said they have something against CANATRA members, as many have been tested and they meet the requirements, but still they were rejected. According to the union leader, Mi Bus has rejected 70% of the members who are associated with their organization who have applied to be Metrobus operators.
Other measures due to the shortage of employees - Posada has been clear.
When speaking to the news media he said that - although the priority is to work with Panamanians - if needed and if the law allows, they will seek foreign labor. About 2,800 bus drivers are needed to cover all of the routes in Panama City. Currently there are 190 working and another 180 are in the selection and training process. The administrators of the Metro Bus system have revealed that just to run the buses of the Northern and Southern corridor routes they will been 550 drivers. In Panama there are now about 150 buses, of which 120 are in operating condition and another 30 are being prepared. (La Estrella)
The Republic of Panama is facing growing pains with the implementation of the new Metro Bus system.
Editor's Comment: Translation - for the most part, those people who have experience driving the old "Red Devil" buses are buses are being rejected, probably because they have terrible driving records, many accidents, outstanding tickets, and bad habits, and bad attitudes. Before the individual bus owners had to take practically anyone who would sling their bus around the city to make a dime. Now, this company and the government of Panama have to be more stringent and demanding in their hiring practices. So, it's not that there's a shortage of experienced bus drivers - there's a shortage of good bus drivers who won't go out and pull the same crap they've been doing for years on the old buses. This labor shortage is going to delay the implementation of the system, no doubt.