Driver Shortage leads to possible reduced services for the City of Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. ā€” The City of Joplin is struggling to fill several open positions that could affect how some residents travel through the city.

The city is looking to hire eight public transportation drivers.
Because of the driver shortage they are now considering contingency plans to reduce transit services.

“We have had open positions for some time and we haven’t been able to recruit new drivers. And its getting to the point where our current drivers are struggling to be able to provide the service,” said Nick Edwards, Joplin City Manager

To combat the driver shortage the City of Joplin is holding public meetings about four proposed options to reduce services for “Metro Area Public Transit System” and the Sunshine Lamp Trolley.

“This is is not something we are excited to do. We want to hear their feedback. Maybe our contingency plans could be made better. These aren’t plans we are looking to go to today, tomorrow or a month from now. But if we continue to have unfilled positions it might be something in the future.”

The first option is to reduce the “maps” service from six routes to three.
The second is to reduce the “maps” service to four routes and reduce trolley hours.
The third would cut the “maps” service in half and condense the trolley system.
And lastly, an option to eliminate the trolley service and operate all six map routes.

“One thing a rider could expect is longer times between routes. I know currently there is an hour amount of time it takes to process between all three routes. Riders might need to schedule rides in advance,” said Edwards.

Edwards says there are several factors in the driver shortage including pay and competition.

“Our trolleys require the CDL and theres a lot of companies in Joplin that are looking for CDL positions. We are not in an uncommon situation a lot of employers are facing a similar hardship. Our hope is that we can find some great folks that want to serve the City of Joplin.”

There will be two public meetings that will be held on Thursday, January 27 in Council Chambers.
One is at 1:30, the other is at 5:30.

More information on the positions available click HERE.

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