Nassau County's bus operator plans to hire more than two dozen drivers in time for its planned increases in service next month.
Michael Setzer, chief executive operator of the Nassau Inter-County Express, said Friday that the company is looking to bring on 28 bus drivers over the next three weeks.
Setzer said the added drivers are needed to carry out NICE's biggest service enhancements in years, planned for Sept. 1. The upgrades include a new N4 Express line to ease congestion on a busy South Shore route, and more buses serving Nassau Community College, which NICE officials intend to transform into a "transit hub."
Setzer said the drivers' jobs, which have a starting salary of $18.56 an hour, "include a full range of benefits" including health care and retirement plans. Some of the openings are part-time positions, but Setzer said those workers could eventually move into full-time jobs.
"This is a good career job for someone who likes this kind of work and can bring a commercial drivers' license and a clean driving record," said Setzer, who noted that it's rare for that many drivers' jobs to open up at once.
NICE is also looking to hire additional maintenance workers, including mechanics, Setzer said.
In total, NICE will have added 79 workers since taking over the county bus system from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in January 2012. The company expects to have 857 drivers and maintenance workers on the job by September, and for the total workforce to soon top 1,000.
"Clearly, NICE is adding routes as well as growing jobs, which together strengthens our local economy," County Executive Edward Mangano said.