Joplin cuts city transit services | KSNF/KODE

JOPLIN, Mo. – The City of Joplin is taking action after struggling to fill driver positions for the city’s transit.

The city is shortening the hours of operation of the Sunshine Lamp Trolley. It is also reducing its MAPS service.

“This is a temporary change. We hope and plan to have employees in the training process. When they are able to be fully trained, they will be driving,” said David Hertzberg, Director of Public Works.

From February 28, the Sunshine Lamp Trolley will reduce its opening hours. It will run from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“With the number of drivers we have, it will reduce their overtime, and it will be a safer level of working hours.”

The MAPS service will reduce its expenses by operating four vans instead of five during its normal opening hours.

“If you’re dealing with a busier restaurant, you’ll have to call ahead to book further in advance. That’s kind of the way of comparison here. We wish they would call further in advance” , Hertzberg added.

The city made the announcement Tuesday about three weeks after getting public comment on possible contingency plans to cut transit service.

“I think everyone has realized the national issues that exist across the country, whether it’s school bus drivers or streetcar drivers, it’s a problem across the country,” Hertzberg said.

A tram user says losing two hours of service in the morning will make getting around more difficult.

“I know sometimes I have appointments early, so I’ll have to schedule them later in the day. But I feel bad for people who have to work early or arrive early. They won’t have a way to get there unless they plan MAPS, which will likely overload them,” said Sunshine Lamp Trolley user Sally Depriest.

The town will resume normal operations once it has enough employees.

To see the current openings of the drivers in the city, you can follow this link here.

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