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Joplin Transportation Officials seek input for Trolley Routes - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Transportation Officials seek input for Trolley Routes

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

As Joplin expands to the south with the new mercy hospital, its trolley routes are growing too.

Now transportation officials want to hear from citizens about changes to routes, where trolleys should stop and how it could better serve riders.

For some the trolley loop system brings too many transfers. Stacey Dougherty gets on board at Northpark Apartments near Missouri Southern. Her wish for the trolley system, "Something that goes from this side of town all the way up to where the hospitals are without having to change two or three trolleys to get there that would be good ."

But that's not likely. In fact, the city will divide the current red route into two. An orange route will serve the west side of town while another looping route, the red one is being extended to reach Mercy hospital in the south along with medical offices and Freeman East.

The green route will no longer include those stops.

Joplin Transportation coordinator Robert Lolley says, "We would like people to give us input and tell us where they would like to put a trolley stop. That is an investment,so whenever we make that investment, I would like it to be successful."

Riders want to change routes more than add stops.

One trolley rides says, "It'd be nice if they ran back, instead of one way so if you missed your stop. You gotta go all around town again instead of coming back now."

Lolley responded, "Unfortunately, it's the most expensive option there is. If we had trolleys that ran in the opposite direction it would double the number of drivers, vehicles and trolleys that you have out there. But something people don't realize is it doubles the number of infrastructure we have to have. So we have to have stops on both sides of the street cause you want it to be safe."

One request riders are making is that the trolley run on a 30 minute schedule rather than one hour.

Larry Byrd likes that idea, "Less waiting. I get tired of waiting but overall I'm satisfied."

City officials say thirty minute routes are like going the opposite direction and would also requiring doubling staff and vehicles.

Lolley says, "I would love to say yes. We try to get all the input. I've also heard people say they would like longer hours, maybe additional days, things like that. There's a lot of different factors, different costs for each one."

Lolley hopes to learn at public meetings which trolley ideas have the most support.

Two public meetings to gather suggestions will take place next Thursday.

One from two to four p.m. and another from six to eight p.m both in the 5th floor conference room at city hall.

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