With Drivers Moving Abroad, Rijeka Forced to Reduce Commuter Bus Services

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Autotrolej, the company which manages commuter buses in Rijeka, the third largest town in Croatia, has announced that it is unable to find enough bus drivers for all of its bus lines. Therefore, it changed the timetable and reduced the number of departures on the urban lines in January, and today, on Monday, it has also reduced the number of suburban services, reports Poslovni.hr on February 11, 2019.

Certain services now have fewer departures, some bus lines have been merged, while some services will start later in the morning and end earlier in the evening. Still, on the most used urban and suburban services, at the time of the day when most people are leaving or returning from work or school, the number of departures will remain the same.

Autotrolej explained that, due to an insufficient number of drivers on the labour market, it could not hire enough professional drivers and is therefore forced to change the timetable temporarily. The company pointed out that Autotrolej now has the smallest number of drivers in the last five years and that it employs 313 bus drivers, which is 29 drivers fewer than in early 2018. There is a significant shortage of professional drivers in Croatia, and in the whole of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, there is not a single unemployed driver with a D category licence, which is needed to operate buses.

Therefore, Autotrolej has published vacancy announcements in the offices of the Croatian Employment Service outside of the county as well, offering the future drivers accommodation in Rijeka.

Also, Autotrolej has initiated and funded the training of 12 unemployed C category drivers to acquire D category licences. The company has even reemployed 12 retirees.

Autotrolej operates bus lines in the towns of Rijeka, Bakar, Kastav, Kraljevica and Opatija, and in the areas of Čavle, Jelenje, Klana, Kostrena, Viškovo, Matulji and Lovran. The company is majority owned by the Town of Rijeka.

The problems which Autotrolej and many other companies in Croatia have with finding employees are mostly a consequence of the major emigration wave which has hit Croatia in recent years, especially after joining the European Union in 2013.

Translated from Poslovni.hr.

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