LINCOLN–(News Release July 29)–Lincoln Transportation and Utilities on Friday announced StarTran will modify its evening service for most routes effective Thursday, August 18. StarTran’s fixed-route evening service, VanLNK on-demand service, and paratransit service will end at 7 p.m., three hours earlier than what is currently offered. The modified service will impact about 2% of StarTran’s bus and paratransit rides.
LTU Director Liz Elliott said the changes are a result of a two-year hiring shortage that began at the start of the pandemic in Lincoln. Similar shortages are occurring nationwide, she said.
“StarTran’s bus operators have served the public through these challenging times without fail. I am so proud of their dedication to this city,” Elliott said. “Due to our hiring shortage, the transit system needed to modify its evening service. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding.”
Two bus routes will not be affected by the modifications. Routes 24 and 25 near the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus will continue to operate until 9 p.m. along with limited paratransit service within three-fourths of a mile of Routes 24 and 25.
Notices and updated schedules will be placed on the buses, City of Lincoln website, and on social media. Suggested alternative transportation options include family and friends as well as taxi, Uber, and Lyft services.
Plans are underway to debut a major, three-month hiring campaign from mid-September to mid-November to assist with recruitment of 23 bus operators and one bus mechanic. The hiring campaign will cost $55,000.
“We are thinking big and finding new, innovative ways to attract great candidates,” Elliott said. “The StarTran hiring campaign will have an online presence and market to potential applicants on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Radio, billboard ads and an interactive website will offer applicants an exciting and visual way to learn about transit opportunities and give potential teammates an easy roadmap to join our team.”
StarTran continues to actively recruit and hire drivers, and a one-stop, all-inclusive hiring event is scheduled for October. Elliott said it will be the first job hiring event of its kind in City government.
“Our team is excited to offer a day when interested applicants will be able to visit StarTran, meet potential co-workers, apply, and interview all in an hour or two,” Elliott said. “This type of convenient and fast hiring is sometimes unheard of in government. We are here to change that perception and offer this unique opportunity.”
Nearly one year ago, StarTran reduced service on five routes with the lowest ridership to reduce the impact to patrons. These routes will continue to serve patrons every 60 minutes instead of every 30 minutes during peak hours.
StarTran is currently accepting applications at lincoln.ne.gov/transitcareer. For more information on routes and schedules, and to check out the benefits of working at StarTran, visit transit.lincoln.ne.gov.