NEWS: HRT Offers Pay Hikes To Drivers And Mechanics

SOURCE: Hampton Roads Transit, June 2022

Hampton Roads Transit will raise the pay of its mechanics, bus, and train operators by $1.25 an hour beginning July 1 as part of its continuing effort to recruit more people to become transit operators and technicians.

The increase will be in the form of an hourly pay incentive premium for each hour worked. Pay for a new bus operator will now be $20 an hour while top earners will make $27.07 an hour. Bus trainees will earn $19.50 an hour.

Pay for light rail operator will rise from $26.40 an hour to $28.37, while top pay for mechanics goes to $30.60 from $28.56.

The latest increase will stay in effect for one year – July to June 2023 – and be reevaluated at that time.

The increases are the latest salary improvements HRT has offered to its unionized workers after reaching agreement on a new contract in July 2021 that also increased pay, instructor premiums, night shift differentials, and the tool and uniform allowances.

The three-year contract with Amalgamated Transit Local 1177 also provided additional bereavement time for employees who must travel more than 300 miles for the funeral of an immediate family member while it also formalized Juneteenth as an official paid holiday.

“This latest increase is intended to more closely align HRT’s pay with the market for professional drivers. HRT is poised to improve transit throughout the region but these plans are contingent on hiring new talent.”

— William E. Harrell, President and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit

HRT also is offering a $4,000 sign-on bonus for new full-time operators and a $5,000 sign-on bonus for new full-time mechanics. These incentives are intended to attract qualified candidates top fill these critical roles.

The new contract that went into effect in July 2021, increased pay by 5.5 percent, plus an additional $2.25 for each hour worked under a special active attendance incentive.

HRT offers a full range of health benefits for full-time employees that take effect after 60 days of employment. The agency pays 85 percent of the medical and dental premium for employees and contributes up to $2,500 to a Health Savings Account per year.

Full-time union employees contribute 3 percent and are vested in their pension plan after 10 years. This is a defined benefit plan paying a lifetime benefit determined by a formula based on time of service and pay.

“We offer career opportunities with competitive pay and benefits. I encourage job seekers to consider joining our team.”

Ferry and paratransit workers are subcontractors and not HRT employees. They are not covered by the contract. To explore a career in Transit, click here.