Jacksonville man claims late buses put his job at risk



A man turned to First Coast News for help, saying his job had been compromised due to problems with late Jacksonville Transit Authority buses.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– Do you use public transportation to get to and from work?

A man turned to News from the first rib for help after claiming his job was put on the line due to issues with Jacksonville Transportation Authority buses being late several times a week.

Ken Robley says his boss has been very sympathetic about his being late for work, but sometimes has problems with buses trying to get home. A JTA spokesperson says they are trying to hire more drivers and adjust routes in about two weeks; but also in two weeks Robley could see the problem hit his salary.

“We’re stuck waiting for the next bus to arrive,” Robley said. “Whether it’s a few minutes or an hour or more.”

Two to three days of Ken Robley’s work week, he says he’s stuck somewhere trying to get to work or come home.

“Besides the obvious thing, being late for work, it puts unfair pressure on my co-workers and puts my boss in an awkward position,” he said. “It puts me in an awkward position and when I run out of time off, it’s one of those offers that when you don’t have time on your books, you run out of work, you don’t get paid. So that has an impact on my there as well. “

The day after Robley spoke with News from the first rib, he left some voicemail messages on his way home.

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“Believe it or not, I’m stuck in Arlington right now waiting for a bus,” he said Thursday. “After waiting an hour and a half for a bus that never showed up, I took a second bus.”

It took Robley three buses and a cab to get home on Thursday. He says the most common problem is getting stuck at the JTA hub in LaVilla, where there is no backup bus ready after this happens:

“When I arrive from Arlington, most often the bus driver comes into the terminal here and then announces that this bus is out of service,” Robley said.

JTA did not want to do an interview but sent replies to News from the first rib‘s questions. On September 27, their service changes will add, extend and remove some bus lines. These are changes based on customer feedback and JTA’s research and the spokesperson is hopeful that these will resolve some of the issues.

Another problem is national: the lack of drivers. A JTA spokesperson says they need a minimum of 326 drivers; they have 290.

Until things change, getting home for passengers like Robley remains a business.

“I hope I’ll be home tonight, but where do I end up?” Robley said. “Your guess is as good as theirs. “

News from the first rib asked specifically what is happening with the Robley bus and if there is a most common reason for the buses to be out of service. JTA responded with a list of reasons for the bus delays: traffic, detours and accidents.

Learn more about upcoming service changes here.

JTA offers hiring bonuses for drivers. Learn more about how to become a JTA pilot here.

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