Worker shortage forcing JTRAN to cut hours, reduce bus services beginning Monday
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - People who use public transportation in Jackson are being asked to make alternate plans and take note of JTRAN’s scheduling changes that will go into effect on Monday, Jan. 17.
Beginning Monday, the system will operate on a “Saturday schedule,” with buses running from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday for fixed-route and paratransit services.
JTRAN’s weekday bus route typically runs from 5:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., according to the city’s website.
Changing to a Saturday route also means the city will temporally provide the route that serves the V.A. Hospital and that only one bus, instead of two, will run the North State Street corridor.
The changes are needed because of a worker shortage, according to a city of Jackson news release, and will be in place at least until Feb. 12.
Fondren resident Dr. Scott Crawford has shared his frustrations with JTRAN on social media. On January 12, he said there were no operators to take people with disabilities to their jobs, medical appointments, or dialysis. The day before, he reported that five of the service’s paratransit runs had no drivers that morning.
“Before you start blaming the city... don’t,” he wrote. “We could have done with COVID by now. This is on everybody who refused to get vaccinated.”
Cities across the country have had to scale back their public transit offerings due to the pandemic.
Portland’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, for instance, cut its bus service by 10 percent earlier this month, according to a Jan. 7 article from NBC News. Washington and Atlanta have also scaled back, the article stated.
Riders are being asked to check the “rider alert” notifications for updates on available bus routes.
Residents also can call JTRAN’s customer service line at (601) 952-1000. Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
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