Report: Good Transit Requires Well Paid Union Workers

In the last two decades, starting wages for our nation’s bus operators have fallen seriously behind the cost of living. Along with a host of unsatisfactory working conditions, the result has been a historic, and in many cases dire, volume of vacancies for frontline transit operations jobs. This state of affairs has resulted in less-frequent, less-reliable service for riders and, in an increasing number of cases, devastating service cuts.

This report presents bus operator wages as compared with Area Median Income in 30 cities across the U.S. Before it is too late, our decision makers must do everything in their power to make sure frontline transit workers are paid a living wage and that local transit agencies can sustain their critical workforce.

transit wage Data at a glance:

The report provides tables showing the 30 cities examined in order of starting wages as a % of area median income (AMI). Explore the hourly starting wages, the annual starting wages, and in the last column those wages as a % of AMI. To provide a benchmark, we also show the dollar amounts in annual wages needed to achieve 80% of AMI per city (in other words – the federal standard below which you are considered “low income”.) These tables provide a perspective on which cities are doing better and worse in paying living wages to new Bus Operators.

Read the full report to explore the date by tier: Higer-Road, Middle-Road, and Low Road. 



A project of Just Strategy