By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz
11:29 AM CDT, October 2, 2012
The CTA on Tuesday graduated 33 new bus drivers as part of its hiring push for next year's Red Line overhaul project.
Mayor Emanuel was on hand Tuesday at the 77th Street bus garage in Chatham to congratulate the new drivers, who will start as part-time employees and transition to full time as other drivers retire or leave the CTA.
The drivers will initially operate the shuttle buses that will substitute for the southern portion of the Red Line when it closes in May for five months for reconstruction. The CTA plans to hire 400 new drivers for this project.
The drivers will earn $19.27 per hour, and their health benefits will kick in after three months, the CTA said. They will undergo a 23-day training course about safety, bus operations and customer service before they are assigned to routes.
The drivers were hired after this summer's job fairs, which attracted more than 4,000 people, the CTA said.
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