Shortage of bus drivers grounds New London seniors

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)–Seniors in New London may not be able to get around this week. That’s because senior bus service isn’t available anymore, thanks to both drivers being out.

One was injured when she slipped on ice, and the other is on a long-planned vacation.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation,” said Tommy Major of the New London Recreation Department. “I’ve been here 26 years and it’s never happened before. That’s not to be an excuse or anything, because there’s no way that should be an excuse.”

Major pointed out that drivers have to have a CDL license in order to drive these buses. Drivers with those licenses are limited, and most are working elsewhere.

“I was trying to think outside the box, maybe going to contract with some taxi companies,” Major said.

He even contacted other bus companies, but they couldn’t spare any drivers. So the 20 or so seniors who depend on these buses to come to the senior center or run errands like go to the grocery store made other arrangements.

“I apologize to all of the seniors in the New London community,” Major said.

He was able to get one bus company to provide rides for those seniors needing to go to medical appointments, and the union will work with him to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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