News Story

11 Lansing Bus Drivers Were Paid More Than $100,000 In 2019

It’s a union thing

Bus drivers at the Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, made far more than the average Michigan worker in 2019, with 11 collecting in excess of $100,000. Two Lansing-area bus drivers made more than $110,000. Those pay figures include overtime, vacation pay and attendance bonuses.

The highest-paid driver collected $119,096, according to data provided by CATA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Of this, $66,660 was for base wages, vacation, and an attendance bonus. The remaining $52,435 was for overtime.

This driver collected even more in 2018, including a base pay of $69,028, plus $54,776 in overtime for a total pay of $123,804. In 2018, there were 11 CATA bus operators whose total pay exceeded $100,000.

Five mechanics were paid more than $100,000 in 2019, with three collecting more than $110,000.

In 2018, three mechanics were paid more than $110,000, with the highest getting $132,033.

The median household income in Michigan was $56,967 in 2018. The median income for Lansing in 2018 was slightly higher, at $59,494.

Michigan Capitol Confidential asked CATA how the total earnings of some bus drivers ran to almost double Lansing’s median household income. The answer was essentially that this is what it agreed to in the union contract.

“CATA is bound by and has honored the existing collective bargaining act with ATU Local No. 1039,” CATA Public Information Officer Lolo Robison said.

“CATA has opted against negotiating this contract or any personnel matter in public or in the media,” she added.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.