MCAT announces temporary 60-minute bus route intervals along Manatee Avenue

  • Apr 27, 2017

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 27, 2017) – Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) officials today announced that the service interval of the bus route that serves Manatee Avenue will be extended from 30 to 60 minutes beginning May 6. The move is expected to be temporary to help ensure consistency in service delivery for the remaining route schedules for thousands of MCAT passengers.

 Over the past several months, there have been a higher number of job vacancies among MCAT's bus operators. This situation coupled with an atypical number of employee injuries and illnesses have significantly reduced the number of transit operators available each day. Rather than suspend any one MCAT route entirely, MCAT officials believe the temporary change to the Manatee Avenue route will help address staffing shortage until new drivers are trained. The temporary Manatee Avenue route change also helps MCAT avoid unexpected delays in fixed route service or missed Handy Bus/paratransit trips.


Some new operators have been hired in recent weeks, but they're now completing required operations and safety training -- a program that can take up to 10 weeks from the day an operator starts. The temporary service reduction will help MCAT reach a stable staffing level that can consistently provide today's level of service to the community.

“The temporary Route 3 service modification relieves the pressure on the operations workforce who are working extra shifts each week," said Jim Egbert, Manatee County’s Transit Operations Chief. "This extreme level of effort is simply not sustainable and compromises the health and wellbeing of hard working transit bus operators.”
 
Egbert said MCAT cannot give an exact date when Route 3 will return to 30 minute frequency, but he said every effort being made to return to today's level.
 
“It is most important to relieve the current stress on our workforce, and ensure that new transit bus operators are fully capable of completing any work assignment on Transit, Trolley, or Paratransit operating modes," said William Steele, Manatee County’s Transit Division Manager. "The patience and understanding of our passengers during this transitional period is most appreciated.”
 
For more information on Manatee County Area Transit visit online at www.mymanatee.org/mcat or call (941) 749-7116.   
 
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov
 
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.