LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– It’s a passion Jodie Wright has been doing for the past eight years, volunteering at the Red Cross in Liverpool, but her mode of transportation to get there came to a screeching halt in September.

“I was outside waiting for a bus for about two hours and it’s been like this ever since.”

Jodie wright, centro customer

The reason for the sudden disappearance? A lack of Centro bus drivers due to the rise in the Omicron variant which caused the company to reduce its services in the Fall. 

“We understand that there are individuals whose particular bus trip is not operating that operated back in the Fall, we understand that, and we’re working as quickly as we can to rectify that,” said Steven Koegel, Vice President of Business Planning and Communications at Centro. 

But the inconvenience has caused Wright to reduce her hours at the Red Cross and rely on friends and family to drive her there. 

“They don’t mind doing it, but I’d rather be independent,” Wright said.

When Wright called Centro looking for answers about when her bus would return, they didn’t have many, so we asked them.

“We’re hopeful that in coming weeks we’ll be able to add some additional services to our bus routes, we’re hopeful that in March we’ll be able to add some trips to our routes.”

steven koegel, vice president of business planning and communications, centro

More drivers are on the way, too, said Koegel. About 20 drivers are scheduled to finish their training in the next few weeks and be behind the wheel in February. Twelve to fifteen of those drivers will be assigned to Syracuse, with the rest being dispersed across Utica, Rome, Oswego, and Auburn. 

“That’s what we’re hoping, but you know everything’s in flux at this point,” Koegel said. 

If you are someone who’s had their bus taken out of the schedule, Centro said you can use their trip planner on their website or mobile app to find a new route that works for you.

“There may be some options that you don’t immediately recognize that might be able to get you to where you need to go,” Koegel said.

Centro estimates that they will be back to their regular schedule by June but can’t make any promises. In the meantime, they’re proposing to roll back their fares, making a one-way trip just $1, no matter where you’re going.