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Lincoln County Transit cuts more service due to driver shortages

Lincoln North County bus
Chris Lehman
Service on most Lincoln County bus routes is temporarily suspended on Sundays. As of May 2, some service to Toledo and Siletz has also been suspended. File photo of a bus in Lincoln City from 2018.

Some commuters in Lincoln County will have to find another way to work or school. A shortage of bus drivers has led Lincoln County Transit to make another round of service cuts.

The agency says it’s eliminating half of the trips on a route that goes from Newport to Toledo and Siletz. The announcement comes less than a month after most bus service in Lincoln County was dropped entirely on Sundays.

It’s a challenge to find enough qualified drivers, said Molly Murphy, field supervisor for Lincoln County Transit.

“Everybody’s hiring, and being in a rural area, we’re just not seeing the applicants coming in,” she said.

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate is higher than the state as a whole, but still sharply lower than it was a year ago.

Other transit agencies, including Portland’s Tri-Met and Eugene’s LTD, have also curtailed service in recent years due to operator shortages. Some school districts have also had to adjust routes due to bus driver shortages.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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