There will be a shortage of 80,000 bus drivers in Bavaria by 2030 – Bavaria

Bavaria is heading towards an increasingly dramatic shortage of bus drivers. There is already a shortage of several thousand drivers across the country, and around 80,000 skilled workers will retire by 2030, said Burkhard Hüttl, managing director of the Bavarian State Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), on Tuesday at a hearing in the Transport Committee of the Bavarian State Parliament. “We have many unfilled positions, and recruiting skilled workers is an urgent problem.”

The situation with the private bus companies is also bad; in terms of personnel, everything has long been “sewn on edge,” emphasized Stephan Rabl, managing director of the regional association of Bavarian bus companies. There is currently a shortage of around 4,000 drivers here. The situation is being made worse by the desire to expand local public transport. Expanding the offering is currently unthinkable due to the lack of personnel, and autonomous driving will not be a solution option in the foreseeable future. A lack of staff is already causing 80 percent of companies to lose sales.

Both associations appealed to politicians to improve the conditions in order to reduce the shortage of skilled workers. “In the past, you just had to put up a notice and then the applicants were there. But those days are long gone,” said Hüttl. In order not to further aggravate the situation, drivers aged 18 and over should generally be allowed to transport passengers. The recognition of foreign driving licenses also needs to be made easier. To improve working conditions, it is also important to provide drivers with sanitary facilities at stops.

The chairman of the committee, Jürgen Baumgärtner (CSU), emphasized that the Free State could solve very few problems for the industry on its own. From his point of view, it is important that at least the work-life balance is right for the drivers, even if people don’t get rich from their work. Jürgen Mistol (Greens) emphasized that the shortage of skilled workers has been a problem that has been foreseeable for a long time. Every year, 200,000 workers retire, compared to only 140,000 school leavers. This means there is a shortage of 60,000 new skilled workers every year.

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