‘Frustrating’: RideKC bus driver shortage causing delays, canceled routes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cancelations, detours and unexpected route changes to the RideKC bus system is keeping many commuters waiting for a ride.

These cancelations in-part because of the shortage of bus drivers that’s not only an issue in Kansas City but all around the country.

“Today it was a very long stint, sitting there waiting for the bus. Forty-five minutes or longer,” said passenger, Chrysantha Smith.

“I go two hours early because I know that the buses are going to be late,” Eric Keene said. “Earlier I was going on the Troost Max and the bus was a half hour late.”

Daily rider, Keene on the suffering end of this shortage, through a mix of altered and sometimes canceled routes, his typical 30 -commute sometimes takes two hours.

“I love the bus system. I lived in D.C. for years. I took the bus, took the subway but here it’s kind of frustrating,” Keene said. “I just sit, sit and sit.”

The agency said they are addressing the situation with an immediate plan to hire more operators.

The bus route service interruptions are also credited to an increase in COVID-19 cases and quarantines, retirements among drivers.

The agency is working to update riders to unexpected and daily through alerts.

You can stay updated two ways:

  • RideKC Notify is a messaging service that will let you know if your route is going to be delayed, detoured or disrupted. RideKC Notify will send messages by text, email, or voice message that will go out when your route is impacted.
  • Download the Transit app to track your bus in real time.

A spokesperson tells FOX4, last month, over 30 potential candidates participated in a hiring event and are prepared for a training class.

“We plan to hire more operators to fill another training class before the end of the year. Once additional staff are hired and trained, daily service will improve.”

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