Shortage of bus drivers: problems of students and workers in Val-de-Marne

Shortage of bus drivers: problems of students and workers in Val-de-Marne

In Villeneuve-le-Roi, users face frequent bus cancellations in September 2022. (©OK: Val-de-Marne news)

The shortage of drivers is felt on the Ile-de-France bus networks. On Villeneuve-le-Roi (Val de Marne), locals face random and regular outages, sometimes leading them to wait for almost two hours without an alternative solution. The municipality and the region are asking for better management of the lack of drivers in the network Keoliswho is in charge of the sector.

Angry users

Reports of irritation abound on social media. Pupils late for classes after 45 minutes of waiting, parents contacted by school life asking for an explanation, workers at the end of their strength after endless waiting… In Villeneuve-le-Roi, bus users are helpless in the face of the premature cancellation of their means of transport, which in peak hours usually run every 15 minutes.

Romain Kersimon, 32, uses the bus for most of his trips. “We don’t have much choice, except RER C, that’s all,” explains the father of the one-year-old girl. He had to deal with vagaries these days. “The last time I waited at 1:30 am with my daughter in a stroller and shopping. I waited for three buses before the fourth came through. »

Buses canceled during rush hour

The municipality collects countless reports from residents. Some users combine problems with the bus and RER C, also affected by labor shortages. “Complaints mainly concern line 482which serves Brassens Collegiate High School, Paul Bert school and RER C station”, diagnostics Didier Gonzales, the major of the town. According to his information, Keolis is missing 20 riders in the sector.

“The problem is accelerating during this back-to-school season,” she urges. “I understand the recruitment difficulties, but we need to be able to provide minimum service at least during peak hours on the 482 route,” demands the elected official, who is also asking Kéolis to improve its communication about the cancellation.

Communication problems

The operator took these requests into account by calling disgruntled users on a case-by-case basis to explain the situation and announcing cancellations on social media. “It has come in handy a few times,” admits Romain Kersimon, “but the notifications often disappear after I leave for work. It would be ideal to install real-time notification panels at stops. »

In the letter, the regional councilor Elise Gonzales confiscated Mobility in Ile-de-France. “We want to put pressure on this operator to fulfill its contractual obligations by providing at least a minimum service,” he explains, recalling the national shortage that affects all players in the sector. “Across Île-de-France, 1,800 driver positions are unfilled,” he reports.

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