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Columbia City Council authorizes Public Works adding position classification for Paratransit program

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia City Council authorized Public Works adding position classification to hire more bus drivers for the City's Paratransit program.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall in the council chambers.

Columbia Public Works is requested the council to authorize the city to add a Paratransit van driver position classification/pay plan amendment for GoCOMO Transit in order to hire drivers specifically for the Paratransit service.

The Paratransit position requires a minimum Missouri Class E Driving License, and not a commercial driver's license. Public Works says the CDL makes it more difficult to bring on new hires there adding to the driver shortage.

Public Works is asking the city and city manager to authorize the hire of six out of the 11 Paratransit full-time bus driver positions. Public Works say they can hire Paratransit drivers faster than work on getting them a CDL to drive the bigger buses.

The Paratransit drivers would be subject to current city requirements and for background checks and drug testing.

GoCOMO'S Paratransit program helps the disabled community who may have difficulty riding the fixed routes.

GoCOMO currently has 11 full-time and seven part-time bus drivers, which is 40% of the total staff needed to be fully staffed. Current drivers have been working 12 hours of mandatory overtime since August 2021.

Public works said there is a significant demand for the service and in Columbia, there are about 400 qualified Paratransit riders.

Once people are hired for the Paratransit position they are encouraged to complete the CDL training which is provided by the city.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia
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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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