SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Many workplaces are still pushing to hire more employees and address critical staffing shortages. Centro in Syracuse is one of those companies.

Back in January, Centro said it was in “desperate” need of more bus drivers. Since then, the company has done a lot of outreach to get more drivers and mechanics on board, including an open house where interested applicants could hop in the driver’s seat and get behind the wheel.

“It really alleviated a lot of fears for people. There may have been some people who may not have even come down here because they were worried about getting three or four weeks of training and then getting behind the bus, ‘oh, it’s not for me.’ So, this really got that question answered really early.”


Centro’s open house last month was a big success. 20 drivers were hired and are now in training. Ideally, Centro is hoping to bring on 25 more drivers and a handful of mechanics.

>>Centro job opportunities

Centro is holding another open house Saturday, March 25. Details and requirements are below:

  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to noon
  • Location: Centro Headquarters
  • Address: 200 Cortland Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13205
  • Drivers: Must be at least 21
  • Mechanics: Must be 18 or older

To apply for the open positions, both drivers and mechanics need a commercial driver’s permit. Centro will train you to get your CDL license.

Curious about the salary? Koegel says wages are competitive, especially in the Central New York transportation market. The average bus driver makes more than $50,000 per year.

  • Starting salary for bus operators: $24.00 per hour
  • Starting salary for mechanics: $28.00 per hour

“We think that’s a very competitive wage,” Koegel said. “We offer a very aggressive 401K match and a very strong healthcare program too.”

Aside from hiring, Centro is working to bring bus rapid transit to Syracuse. The routes will be express routes, meaning buses would run more frequently and make fewer stops. However, Koegel said rapid transit won’t be rolled out until sometime in 2026.