This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking to hire hundreds of new bus operators in hopes of restoring service to pre-pandemic levels.

L.A. Metro reduced services by about 20% during the pandemic, but has seen an increase in ridership over the past few months.

The public transportation service has decided to add 800 new drivers by September, Metro spokesperson Dave Sotaro said.

The job comes with a starting pay of $16.90 per hour, with incremental increases up to $26.00 per hour, Sotaro said.

L.A. Metro is also offering new drivers a benefits package with health coverage, paid training, tuition reimbursements and a retirement plan, according to its website.

“I think it’s a very good idea,” said Edward Rojas, who has noticed his bus rides getting more and more crowded.

Community members also expressed excitement about the 800 new positions for people who are currently jobless.

“I think we’re going to get a lot of people back off the streets,” one man said.

Visit the L.A. Metro website for more information about job opportunities and how to apply.