COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The soaring number of COVID-19 infections have decimated workplaces in all corners of the economy. Essential workers, like bus drivers, are no exception.
According to the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), an average of 93 drivers were out every day this week. Sara McCain, a spokesperson for COTA, said some of the absences were planned due to the holidays, but others were unplanned.
“Workforce availability is assessed daily, with service able to continue through overtime or operators on call. However, the current stress on our system and rising COVID-19 cases can impact service,” McCain wrote in an email responding to questions.
The explanation for the delays and cancellations offers little comfort to Sophia Spahr, who relies on the bus each day to get to work. She said she first started noticing delays two or three months ago.
“They started just not showing up — (a) bus here or there,” Spahr said. “The first couple of times I thought, ‘Maybe I was just early and missed it.’”
This week, Spahr said she would wait hours at her stop on Sawmill Road for a bus, which is supposed to arrive every 30 minutes.
“I’m skating on thin ice right now with my work because four to five times, just this month, I’m late,” she said. “And yesterday I didn’t get to show up at all.”
McCain suggested passengers call customer service at (614) 228-1776 if their route is canceled. She said routes are also updated at COTA.com