Omicron Surge Causes Employee Shortages with Transit Companies

Transit businesses experience emplyee shortages due to omicron, corporate chaos

As the Omicron variant spreads across the country, transportation companies around the country are stopping or limiting service owing to coronavirus employee shortages, Reuters reports.

Due to understaffing, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City stopped three subway lines this week, one on Wednesday and two others on Thursday, while all stations remained operational, according to MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan.

The MTA shut down lines in four of the city’s five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, including the W line, which was shut down on Wednesday and was still shut down on Thursday, when the B and Z lines were also shut down.

The United States saw a record number of newly reported cases for the second day in a row, based on the seven-day average, with more than 290,000 new infections recorded each day, according to a Reuters calculation, as US officials consider the implications of the more transmissible Omicron variety.

In Ohio, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has been able to maintain service despite increased COVID-19 cases among employees, but staff shortages forced a reduction in the frequency of trains on its rapid lines this week. Instead of the normal frequency of trains every 15 to 30 minutes, the frequency has been bumped to 45 minutes to an hour, RTA spokesperson Linda Krecic said.

Employee shortages at Metrolink, the regional passenger rail system in Southern California, forced the agency to cancel early-morning trains planned to depart from a New Year’s Eve celebration in San Bernardino.

Coronavirus instances among Metrolink personnel and contractors have increased this week, according to Metrolink spokesman Laurene Lopez.

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