Joplin PublicTransportation suspending saturday service
There is a shortage of drivers for routes
JOPLIN, Mo — A beloved method of transportation in Joplin is temporarily suspending its Saturday service.
The Sunshine Lamp trolley and MAPS public transit service will no longer have routes on Saturday because of a shortage of C-D-L drivers.
Transportation Coordinator Robert Lolley says it has become too dangerous to have the drivers working six days a week.
“It’s just gotten to the point that we only have three drivers and we have three routes, so we aren’t able to operate six days with only three people.”
“We can’t safely operate. There is no way to operate sixty eight hours you know for one person. It just physically is impossible and is definitely not safe so that’s a situation that we never want to cancel service but at this point unfortunately I just had to make that decision.”
Lolley says they chose Saturday because it averaged around 200 rides but weekdays averaged around 450-475.
Suspending this service has a big impact on one Joplin resident.
Peggy Grube is wheelchair bound and her primary form of transportation is the trolley.
“I have no other way of means of getting around, I have no vehicle so I rely on that.”
The loss of the Saturday service means she is going to have a difficult time going out with her daughter, who has special needs and is also in a wheelchair.
“Taxi’s don’t have wheelchair accessibility and so then I wouldnt’ be able to go as much because at that time I will have to use my cane, which doesn’t allow me to do as much.”
Interviews for more drivers took place this week, of April 22nd, and should begin training in two to three weeks.
Complete training however is a long process, of up to three months.
The Saturday suspension will stay until new drivers are trained and on route.
The Transit agency is constantly looking for more drivers so that this suspension does not last as long. If you are interested, you are asked to contact the H-R department for the City of Joplin and apply.
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