AUSTIN (KXAN) — The breadth of pandemic-induced supply chain issues now stretches to city fleets including public transportation and EMS vehicles.

CapMetro said a bus part shortage is sidelining some of its buses each day, delaying some busy routes like the MetroRapid by a couple of minutes and less busy routes by about 15 minutes.

The public transportation agency said on a typical weekday morning, it needs 345 out of its 425 buses on the road. On Tuesday, it started 19 buses short. It said most were sidelined because air conditioners were broken.

Luckily, none of those have affected Phillip Hines’ routes.

“I get up at 4:45 every morning, just to get to work at seven o’clock. So, I have to catch three buses,” he said. “If I’m late to work, I could lose my job, I might have to get another job.”

CapMetro is not sure when out-of-service buses will be able to join the fleet again.

One supplier, it said, should be sending air conditioning parts within the next week or two, which would fix eight buses.

CapMetro said when possible, mechanics have used parts from idled buses to keep other buses going.

The agency said all schedule changes should show up on CapMetro’s app as they happen.

“I think they’re doing a great job for the most part,” Hines said. “Stuff happens, you know, but overall they’re doing pretty good.”

Austin-Travis County EMS said supply chain issues mean it’s having a hard time getting in new ambulances.

“It’s really a national and even a global issue with delays from manufacturers such as for GM, Ram, Dodge,” explained spokesperson Captain Darren Noak.

He’s not wrong. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wrote a letter about the issue a few weeks ago to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Johnson said they lost more than four dozen emergency response vehicles to flooding in August, and current wait times mean they’ll take more than a year to replace.

Johnson also said his city reached out to the City of Austin, which he said is a year behind new ambulance purchases due to supply chain issues.

Johnson copied the City of Austin and 16 other cities on his letter, asking Buttigieg to step in.

“I am asking that you urge automobile manufacturers to prioritize the production of first responder vehicles and work with Congressional leadership on any necessary action to meet these critical public safety needs without delay,” Johnson wrote.

Noak said in the meantime, they’re rotating older ambulances to slower stations and newer ones to busier stations to even out mileage on their vans.

“No one has that crystal ball to see how long this issue will last. So, that’s why we’re trying to be as efficient and effective as we can, with our rotation of the units, the upkeep, the maintenance, extending that, that life of those ambulances a little longer,” he explained.

The American Ambulance Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians said manufacturers have indicated these supply chain issues will “continue well into 2023.”

The groups also penned a joint letter to Buttigieg.

They said all their members are experiencing a shortage of vehicles with wait times now 24 months or longer. They said before the pandemic, the wait time was normally 90 to 120 days from order to delivery.

“This means that when an EMS provider loses an ambulance to a crash, or when it exceeds its useful/safe life, they have to wait almost two years to replace it – making it harder to ensure timely responses to 911 calls.

Noak said wait times here have not yet been affected by this supply chain problem.