City of Joplin seeks public input on trolley system changes

Officials rode the trolley to get input

The City of Joplin has brought in some outside help to find ways to improve the public transit in the city, also known as, the trolley. Today, city officials went on a ride on the trolley’s to gather public input.

For riders like Mary Sue Keifer, the trolley service in Joplin, is something she depends on every day. Keifer says “It means everything to me because I have no one to take me places, and I depend on the bus for everything, going shopping, going to the doctors, and I don’t know what I’d do if they didn’t have it.”

That’s why the City of Joplin decided to get an outside firm involved to help them develop a short range, medium range, and long range plan to redevelop the existing trolley system. But they felt the best people with the best answers, are those like Mary Sue, so, officials rode the trolley’s to poll riders on what they think would make it better. Robert Lolley, City of Joplin’s Transportation Director says “In general they really like the idea of having a central transit hub, along with more routes, each of the routes would be smaller in length, they would also allow us to go from one point to another point in the city within thirty minutes which is kinda the overall goal that we set.”

The city also held a public meeting outlining the plans for new routes and stops. Lolley says one of the biggest things they’re working on, is adjusting those routes. Lolley says “There’s one bus on each one, basically you get service every hour, what we’re looking at, a possible temporary fix would be to add another vehicle to each of those routes so we would have routes that would come by every thirty minutes you could get a trolley.”

Mary Sue says she’d like to see more routes and more stops, so people like her, who don’t have anything else, have easy access. Keifer says “They need to be going more places because there are people that do not have the advantage of it and that should be getting it.”

Lolley says that’s something that’s just around the corner. Lolley says “Our two to five year plan that we’re hoping for, there would be eight different routes, with one bus on each one, but it would also offer thirty minute service on each of those routes.”

Lolley says the short-range plans which include some adjusted routes and stops, could be online in the next year.


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