Taoyuan hikes bus drivers’ wage in bid to attract more drivers amid shortage

Taoyuan hikes bus drivers’ wage in bid to attract more drivers amid shortage


Lowered demand for buses during the COVID-19 pandemic caused an exodus of bus drivers from the industry. Now, with demand greatly recovered, bus companies are scrambling to get enough buses on the road. Taoyuan has taken the lead in tackling the driver shortage, hoping that by offering an additional NT$10,000 a month to drivers, new drivers will come on board. However, one bus company operator says that passenger complaints may still be a deterrent for some who are considering a career as a bus driver.

Passengers wait at a bus terminal, their patience tested by a shortage of buses on each route.

Member of the public
I have to wait about 20 or 30 minutes. I feel that’s a bit long.

Member of the public
There are so many people, but all we can do is wait. If the bus fills up, you just have to wait for the next one.

Member of the public
During peak hours you have to stop at almost every bus stop to let people on or off, which can be uncomfortable for a passenger.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted public transit demand, which resulted in many bus drivers leaving the industry. Now that the pandemic is over, demand has recovered, further spurred by the introduction of new intercity transit passes. Ridership is now 80% of pre-pandemic numbers, and bus companies are faced with a serious shortage of drivers. Even with all the available drivers on the road, companies have insufficient scheduled buses to meet peak-hour demand.

Chien Chih-liang
Taoyuan Bus Co.
Bus drivers face passengers, and so there’s a type of stress associated with that, which you don’t find in other industries. For example, they have to deal with the stress coming from passenger complaints. The cost of these complaints is that the driver may decide to move on to a different industry.

All manner of people use buses, and invariably some people complain. Bus companies worry that those complaints will deter potential drivers. Taoyuan currently faces a shortage of 259 drivers. Some tour bus drivers have stepped in to fill the gap, and the city also hopes that supplementing driver wages will draw potential new drivers.

Wu Shan-ying
Taoyuan Department of Transportation
Previously we raised driver wages by NT$6,000, and on June 1 we raised them again by an additional NT$4,000, bringing the total monthly wage hike to NT$10,000.

Bus companies hope that by offering higher salaries and greater benefits, they can attract more drivers, and put an end to their labor-shortage woes.

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疫情重創! 司機缺工.公車減班 政府"補貼薪資"祭獎勵








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