PONTOON BEACH - At a time when 84% of transit agencies around the country are experiencing workforce shortages, affecting their ability to provide service, Agency for Community Transit (ACT) is pleased to announce that despite its own multi-year driver shortage, proposed Madison County Transit (MCT) service reductions won’t be necessary any time soon.
ACT operates all services for Madison County Transit and all drivers are ACT employees. Thanks to ACT’s recent recruiting efforts, which led to the hiring of 16 new drivers, service reductions that were proposed in October will not be required. After delaying a decision on the service change in October, the MCT Board of Trustees approved a revised plan at its Thursday, November 17 meeting that avoids frequency reductions on three MCT bus routes.
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“First I want to thank ACT’s positive, energetic drivers for staying with us, working long hours, and taking extra shifts in order to keep bus service on the road for those who need it the most,” said ACT Executive Director SJ Morrison. “I also want to recognize our hard-working staff for their efforts to recruit and retain drivers over the course of the last few months. We were nearly 30 drivers down and service reductions seemed to be the only option. But thanks to this recent hiring spree, we will be able to avoid service reductions indefinitely.”
In a survey conducted earlier this year, nearly 75% of transit agencies reported either making service cuts or delaying service increases due to driver shortage issues2. Since Spring of 2021, ACT drivers have been mandated to work overtime and take on additional runs, negatively impacting morale. ACT Operations Director Pam Ruyle recommended deploying a mobile recruitment center called the “Hiring Bus” to communities throughout Madison County, offering individuals an opportunity to apply and interview at the same time. In the last month and a half, 34 applicants have applied, and 16 new drivers have been hired at the Hiring Bus.
A revised summary of changes, effective February 5, 2023, is listed below. For detailed schedule information visit mct.org, call 618-797-INFO (4636) or email email@example.com
ROUTE CHANGES FOR UPCOMING FEBRUARY 5, 2023 SERVICE CHANGE:
- #4 Madison-Edwardsville: Increase weekday service span until 9:46 p.m. to accommodate SIUE and SWIC evening classes.
- #6 Roxana-Pontoon Beach: Extend all trips to Wood River Schnucks on IL-143.
- #9 Washington Shuttle: Reinstate service to Skyline Towers senior living facility in Alton.
- #10 State and Elm Shuttle: Eliminate service to Bachman Lane group home due to lack of demand. Create additional trip to Lewis and Clark Community College.
- #13 Troy-Glen Carbon: Serve Cambridge House and Liberty Village on IL-162 on every trip.
- #20X Gateway Commerce Center Express: Adjust running times for schedule accuracy.
- #23 Gateway Commerce Center Shuttle: Discontinue route due to low ridership. Service still available on the #20 Granite City-Pontoon Beach.
Despite the recent recruitment successes, additional drivers are still needed to prevent future service disruption and reductions. ACT is always seeking friendly, customer-oriented professionals to drive MCT’s green and white buses. No experience is needed as all training is provided. ACT drivers start at $19.00 / hour with an increase upon completion of a probationary period. Full-time work is available upon hire, as well as health and 401(k) benefits. ACT positions that are in the highest demand, such as drivers, fuelers, cleaners, and mechanics qualify for a $1,000 sign-on bonus. For a list of all open positions and their descriptions, or to apply online, visit www.ACTinfo.org/jobs. ACT is a drug free workplace and an equal opportunity employer.
Madison County Transit (MCT) provides multi-modal transportation services for Madison County, Illinois. MCT operates a fixed-route bus service, connecting to MetroLink; express weekday commuter service directly to and from downtown St. Louis; and seasonal express service to the Muny. For elderly and disabled residents who are unable to use the fixed-route buses, MCT provides complementary door to door service. MCT is also responsible for the construction and maintenance of more than 137 miles of bikeways that comprise the MCT Trails system, as well as overseeing RideFinders, the St. Louis region’s FREE carpooling and vanpooling program.