February 17, 2019

Community News

Mayor Breed, Supervisor Brown, Chariot Drivers &Teamsters Give Added Drive For Success
January 16, 2019


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131



Mayor Breed meets with Teamsters and Chariot drivers to offer employment and training opportunities with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency


San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Vallie Brown, City officials, and the Teamsters announced today a new City program to train commercial drivers known as CityDrive. The program provides free training to residents as commercial drivers to meet the demand at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and in the private sector.


Following the announcement, Mayor Breed and representatives from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and SFMTA met with drivers for Chariot, which recently announced it would cease operations, to offer employment opportunities at SFMTA and training through CityDrive.


“This makes sense for the drivers, it makes sense for Muni, and it makes sense for the City,” said Mayor Breed. “I am always focused on creating employment opportunities for our residents. This program will not only provide paid training to help drivers while they prepare for their new roles, but will also help address the driver shortage at Muni and improve service for all San Franciscans.”


Following Chariot’s announcement of their closure, Mayor Breed directed the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the SFMTA to build on the plans for CityDrive—making free Class B driver’s license training available to all workers that are being laid off so that they can meet the qualifications to apply for Muni operator positions. CityDrive is a three week long training course that provides participants education and preparation to take the Class B commercial drivers’ test and graduate with industry certifications.


CityDrive will also provide on-the-job training while they wait for a potential offer to drive for the City so workers will continue to get paid during the transition.


“Our transit operator shortage is hurting our ability to deliver service for Muni riders,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown. “This is an opportunity to get more drivers on board quickly to help close our operator gap. We also need to look at long term solutions, which is why creating a City-run program is so important.”


According to Chariot, 10-15% of their workforce have Class B driver’s licenses. While not a requirement to apply for all SFMTA driver positions with the City, they are required to drive Muni buses. CityDrive can expedite the training progression for workers to obtain their Class B permits faster than the traditional process.


“Thanks to Mayor Breed's leadership and with support of the Teamsters, we are turning a difficult situation into a great opportunity for Chariot drivers and for Muni riders,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “This program will help get more Muni operators behind the wheel faster, while connecting real people to quality jobs in San Francisco. I’m proud to work with Mayor Breed to move this program forward and as we make every effort to improve service across the city.”


"The Teamsters thank Mayor London Breed for marshaling San Francisco’s resources to keep these drivers behind the wheel,” said Teamsters Local 665 Secretary-Treasurer Mark Gleason. “Muni needs drivers and our members need jobs. It’s a good match.”

The City also offers free training academies in other high demand industry sectors in healthcare, tech, hospitality and construction. As part of employer lay off services, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development is also providing information around resources on healthcare, finances, and many other job assistance to displaced workers.

“We are excited that Mayor Breed is helping us find new jobs,” said Chariot driver Kendra Watkins. “With housing prices as crazy as they are, San Francisco is helping working people stay in San Francisco."

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