Greyhound riders delayed for hours due to 'driver shortage' - WSMV News 4

Greyhound riders delayed for hours due to 'driver shortage'

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Dozens of Greyhound riders from across the Southeast found themselves stranded in Nashville overnight Sunday when there weren't enough drivers to cover scheduled trips out of the city.

Attendants at the station on 5th Avenue South told customers there were "no available drivers" and passengers would simply have to wait until one was available. 

Hours later with no updates, stranded passengers reached out to News4 for help.

One traveler from New Orleans told News4 his bus arrived in the city around 11 p.m. on Saturday night and he was still waiting for his transfer almost 12 hours later. The bus was originally scheduled to leave Nashville at 3 a.m.  

“What's happening is people are getting dumped here but there's no connecting buses. They've got like five buses in the back with no drivers,” explained Charles Flarity, a traveler from Alabama. “Some of these people are 12 hours behind schedule. I’m only 8 or nine right now.”

Another man desperately trying to get home to Montgomery, Alabama, with his two young children was set to leave Nashville around the same time, 3 a.m., but didn't board a bus until late Sunday morning.

Just before noon, a corporate representative from Greyhound responded to News4's requests for information about the delay, saying all buses were now "running on time." The company said routes between 3 and 3:30 a.m. were the only trips delayed due to a "federally mandated rest" period for drivers. Those trips, the spokesperson said, were now underway. 

Passengers told News4 they want their drivers to be well-rested and safe, but don't understand why the mandated rest period wasn't taken into account when drivers were scheduled for their routes. 

Greyhound said the lack of drivers in Nashville could also stem from problems at stations in other cities. 

"With resources as tight as they have been, any delay that occurs elsewhere can create a domino effect, which can have an impact on a driver’s hours of service," Lanesha Gipson with Greyhound told News4. "We work diligently to accommodate our customers with the limited resources we have available. We’ve also been actively hiring drivers in order to meet the increasing demand for our service so that these types of delays are minimized."

According to the man from New Orleans, he won't leave Nashville until 7 p.m. Sunday because he opted for a direct route to his destination instead of being re-routed through other cities. That trip will get him to his destination around 24-hours later than planned.

The family from Montgomery was able to leave a little earlier, but their new trip will take to Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Birmingham before arriving at their final destination. 

Here's Greyhound Lines' full statement to News4:

"Our bus schedules out of our Nashville station are currently running on time. We were experiencing delays this morning as we waited for drivers to become available once they completed their federally mandated rest. We had three schedules due to depart between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. that were delayed, and we’ve since been able to get those customers back on the road. All of our schedules are now running on time.

With resources as tight as they have been, any delay that occurs elsewhere can create a domino effect, which can have an impact on a driver’s hours of service. We work diligently to accommodate our customers with the limited resources we have available. We’ve also been actively hiring drivers in order to meet the increasing demand for our service so that these types of delays are minimized."

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