Saturday service on the City’s Sunshine Lamp Trolley and MAPS Transit has temporarily been suspended effective Saturday, April 27, 2019. City officials state that the suspension is due to a shortage of employed qualified drivers. Transit drivers must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Prior to this announcement, the City’s Public Transportation division operated nine vehicles Monday through Friday, and six vehicles on Saturday. This included three different routes for the Trolley as well as curb to curb services through the MAPS Transit system. MAPS service is available in Joplin, Carl Junction, Carterville, Webb City, Duenweg, and Oronogo.
“This temporary suspension is due to the insufficient number of current employees we have to safely operate vehicles for all of the routes each day,” said Robert Lolley, Transportation Coordinator. “This is an unfortunate trend that we’re seeing nationwide. Many services, such as over-the-road trucking companies, public schools, and transit operators, compete for the same pool of qualitied applicants.”
Saturday public transportation will resume when staffing is at sufficient levels to offer this service safely to our citizens.
The City is actively recruiting for public transportation drivers. It generally takes two to three months of on-the-job training before a new hire can safely operate a vehicle independently. For more information about this position, citizens can contact Human Resources at 417-624-0820, ext. 428 or apply at https://www.joplinmo.org/jobs.aspx .
On average, 11,500 rides are given each month through the Trolleys and MAPS vans. For more information about public transportation, please call 417-626-8609.