JeffTran moves forward to improve transit in the Jefferson City area
The JeffTran bus system serves many city residents.
From 6:40 a.m. to 6 p.m., JeffTran’s 12 Gillig buses cover six regular routes and three tripper routes. While these tripper routes only operate during the school year, they run once a day to help get kids home after school. And for those who may need assisted transit, JeffTran also operates 10 paratransit buses to cover the eight handi-wheel runs.
JeffTran is essential in assisting people to get to the places they need to go. Between the regular routes and handi-wheels routes, JeffTran had a little over 210,000 riders in 2022. Currently, the system has four alternating routes and two scheduled ones, allowing buses to travel about 6,000 miles a week. When running full routes, they run about 9,500 miles a week.
Passengers ride buses for many different reasons, such as getting to work, going to doctor appointments, and getting groceries. Some ride by choice, and some by necessity. Whatever the reason, they have an economic impact on the community because they are going to places to make money or spend money. To further help the community, JeffTran also partnered with the Missouri Soybean Association and Clean Fuels Alliance America in 2022 to incorporate biodiesel and are contracted to purchase two hybrid Gillig buses that will help with cleaner air and fuel savings.
At present, JeffTran faces many of the same issues other transit systems and businesses do nationwide, such as staffing and supply chain concerns. On February 6, 2023, the transit division adjusted the headway of the bus routes from 40 minutes to 80 minutes due to staffing shortages. Since then, JeffTran has increased their staffing levels to allow the orange route (Missouri Boulevard) and the black route (Capital Mall) to return to the 40-minute heading. This change has allowed many of the passengers to travel about the city in a timely manner.
The main challenge JeffTran endures is remaining a reliable means of transportation for the citizens of Jefferson City. JeffTran has a dedicated staff of bus drivers who take pride in helping people and getting them from place to place. With the staffing shortage, the team is working to balance the needs of the citizens and our drivers. As a result, buses are serving the same areas of the city with a longer travel time and are actively trying to recruit bus drivers to get back to regular services to meet the needs of the community. JeffTran is a service to the citizens of the city, just like police and fi re departments. The fares the passengers pay accounts for about 9% of the JeffTran budget. For 2023, JeffTran was granted about $2.8 million, which is paid for, in part, by federal grants, state grants, and general revenue from the city.
For passengers, JeffTran has several options to purchase bus passes. They can be purchased on the bus from the driver, however, it must be cash. For credit cards or cash, passes can be purchased at the JeffTran office, located at 820 E. Miller St., or at the Jefferson City City Hall in the lower level. As a third option, riders can buy online through the Token Transit app. The app allows for riders to set up an account and purchase passes or individual rides using their phone. Regular routes cost $1.50 and the handi-wheels cost is $3 per ride. However, riders with disabilities or who are over the age of 60 can apply for a reduced fare card to only pay half price.