March/April 2023 - 33

critical for people who didn't have
cars, " Faulkner said. " They were
critical to our essential workers,
critical to people that had to get
to their doctor's appointments and
could no longer do so if those buses
were not available. "
The agency's goal is to have a
fully staffed bus operator roster,
which consists of 150 operators, by
the end of 2023. Kalantari-Johnson
believes there are opportunities
within the unemployed and
Latinx communities to fill a lot
of the positions.
" We're working with a Latinx
population in Santa Cruz County
throughout our county, " Kalantari-Johnson
said. " They seem to
be underemployed, specifically
those who are predominantly
Spanish-speaking residents and
have limited English skills. I think
part of it is the perception [where]
people think their English is not
up to par, so they won't be able to
interview. We've shifted our interview
process to accommodate
those with limited English, so they
can feel comfortable working with
Santa Cruz Metro. "
Affordable housing
Santa Cruz Metro does not think of
itself solely as an agency; it thinks
of itself as an essential service in
Santa Cruz County. As part of that
initiative, Santa Cruz Metro wants
to be a part of solving the housing
crisis issue in Santa Cruz County.
According to a recent study done
by the National Low Income Housing
Coalition, Santa Cruz County
has the second most expensive
rental market in the United States
with housing wages at $60.35, trailing
San Francisco, Calif., by $1. According
to the study, housing wages
are defined as an estimate of the
hourly wage full-time workers must
earn to afford a rental home at the
U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development's fair market
rent without spending more than
30 percent of their income.
Data from the Santa Cruz County
Community Dashboard shows
53.7 percent of Santa Cruz County
residents spend 30 percent or more
of their household income on rent
(rent plus utilities). The dashboard
also shows seven percent of Santa
Cruz County households are considered
overcrowded, which is defined
as a household where there
are more people than rooms of all
types, excluding bathrooms.
" The reason why affordable
housing is so essential in Santa
Cruz is because of the fact Santa
Cruz is one of the most expensive
communities to live anywhere, "
Faulkner said. " A bus driver who
works in Santa Cruz County does
not make the same kind of income
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March/April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March/April 2023

Editor’s Notebook
People & Places
Why Zero-Emissions Fleet Transformation Starts at the Top
A Look at U.S. Bus Fleets
Have We Outgrown Paratransit?
Santa Cruz Metro Bounces Back from COVID-19 Pandemic
Ready for Rail: A Look at 2023’s Big Projects
Products
March/April 2023 - 1
March/April 2023 - 2
March/April 2023 - 3
March/April 2023 - 4
March/April 2023 - 5
March/April 2023 - Editor’s Notebook
March/April 2023 - 7
March/April 2023 - People & Places
March/April 2023 - 9
March/April 2023 - 10
March/April 2023 - 11
March/April 2023 - 12
March/April 2023 - 13
March/April 2023 - 14
March/April 2023 - 15
March/April 2023 - Why Zero-Emissions Fleet Transformation Starts at the Top
March/April 2023 - 17
March/April 2023 - 18
March/April 2023 - 19
March/April 2023 - A Look at U.S. Bus Fleets
March/April 2023 - 21
March/April 2023 - 22
March/April 2023 - 23
March/April 2023 - 24
March/April 2023 - 25
March/April 2023 - Have We Outgrown Paratransit?
March/April 2023 - 27
March/April 2023 - 28
March/April 2023 - 29
March/April 2023 - Santa Cruz Metro Bounces Back from COVID-19 Pandemic
March/April 2023 - 31
March/April 2023 - 32
March/April 2023 - 33
March/April 2023 - 34
March/April 2023 - 35
March/April 2023 - Ready for Rail: A Look at 2023’s Big Projects
March/April 2023 - 37
March/April 2023 - 38
March/April 2023 - 39
March/April 2023 - Products
March/April 2023 - 41
March/April 2023 - 42
March/April 2023 - 43
March/April 2023 - 44
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