Columbia’s city council has approved a bill aimed at hiring bus drivers specifically for paratransit service. It’s also aimed at alleviating Columbia’s bus driver shortage.
While the city continues to see a growing need for paratransit service, the city is now down 11 full-time and seven part-time drivers. That’s 40 percent of their operator staff.
The city receives 200 paratransit ride requests per day to medical, employment and shopping destinations.
The bill approved by council aims to fill six full-time GoCOMO Transit bus driver positions with the full-time paratransit van driver position. Columbia Public Works says its transit drivers have been working 12 hours of mandatory overtime per week since August, with no anticipated relief in sight.