City reducing RTS bus services

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - You might find yourself waiting longer for an RTS bus in the next few weeks. The city is temporarily reducing bus routes.

"In order to provide the most services to the most people, we are having to reduce a number of routes, and what that means is we're working at reducing the hours of operation on some, the frequency of others, and we are also looking to discontinue some routes," said City Spokesperson Chip Skinner.

Skinner said the Regional Transit System has a shortage of bus drivers. "Which is occuring throughout the state even at the bigger agencies such as JTA in Jacksonville and Linx down in Orlando," he said.

Skinner said it's temporary. "They should not see any drop off in service but they do want to check those frequencies just to make sure that they can get to class or work on time, and they may have to adjust their schedule anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour."

The Later Gator will be discontinued, along with routes 19 and 29. "Those two routes are what we call tripper routes. They're very short duration of time and basically they're clean up busses for those routes that mirror that one," he said.

University students will see the change too.

"What we looked at were the number of people using the system and the hours they were using the system," said Skinner.

For the time being, they're hoping to train up more employees. "We are aggressively working with our HR department to make sure that our pipeline is full and we have good candidates in there that we can continue to interview," he said.

These changes will go from March to May, right before the annual Summer reductions.