AMES, Iowa- The CyRide transportation service for the City of Ames, is in need of more workers. CyRide has offered a $1000 bonus to people who start working there. In July, they also raised the pay rate to $17.51 and are hoping to raise that even more.

“This is probably the worst I’ve ever seen it, it’s really unprecedented hiring challenges,” said Barb Neal, the Director of CyRide. “This is the first time we’ve actually had to cut service so it makes it little hard for us to have to do that.”

The agency is now at about 76 percent staffing, and normally this time of year they are around 96 percent. So some of the service on the weekends has been scaled back. With the shortage of drivers, the director and members of the management team are pressed to drive.

“If you ride on my bus you know I’ll start asking people, ‘do you have a job are you interested in a job’ generally because we are so short,” said Christine Crippen, Assistant General Manager of CyRide.

The service has 24 full-time drivers, and quite a few part-timers, and it’s those employees who come and work whatever they can, who are in greatest demand.

“We have drivers that are 18-years-old. We have drivers who are 81-years-old. We do not discriminate when it comes to age,” said Neal. “Students make good drivers, retirees make good drivers, stay at home moms and dads make good drivers, you can pretty much find the hours that you’re looking for.”