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Mountain Line adjusts service because of staffing shortages

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 14:58:23-04

MISSOULA  — Mountain Line is having to adjust service on some of its primary Missoula bus routes because of a shortage of available drivers.

Mountain Line CEO and General Manager Corey Aldridge says the move to adjust frequency on the routes is aimed on keeping buses rolling on close-to-normal schedules while waiting for new drivers to finish their training.

"Absolutely. Yeah, our goal is to put out as much service as we possibly can, as quickly as we can. We have trainees that are in training right now. And we having another training class set to start in November, and then again in December. Typically in past years, we've done training classes about three or four times a year. Now we're finding ourselves doing a new training class every month."

Beginning on Monday, Routes 1 and 2 will drop to 20-minute service from the normal 15 with additional adjustments on Routes 8 and 12. Those changes will remain in effect until further notice.

To provide regular service, Mountain Line needs 50 full-time operators, but only has 41-drivers right now. And Aldridge says the transit agency is actively looking for potential drivers interested in "safety and customer service", with prior transit experience not required at this point.

"A fantastic career with great benefits and really rewarding serving the public. And helping those that need to get around our community."

Mountain Line will pay for operators to get trained and acquire their Commercial Driver's License, with full health benefits and retirement available on top of the hourly wage. Click here to visit the Mountain Line website.