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Six Figure Bus Driver

According to online sources, the average salary for a bus driver in the United States is $17,070. In today’s Albuquerque Journal (subscription) it is noted that Michael Toya earned $104,000 last year driving a bus for the city.

Does this concern Gail Reese, the city of Albuquerque’s chief financial officer?

Reese said department directors have “a fair amount of flexibility in deciding how they spend their budgets to meet their goals. The point is that nobody overspent (on personnel). … That tells me the directors are doing a good job at managing the money.”

Well, Ms. Reese’s response tells me that she is NOT doing a good job. Even if you paid a city bus driver $25,605 per year, fifty percent greater than the national average, you would still only spend $76,815 to hire three bus drivers to cover a 24 hour shift. That means the city could be saving the taxpayers nearly 30 percent on this position. How anyone could come to the conclusion that an operating director who spends 30% more than needed is doing a good job is beyond me.