|JOPLIN, Mo. — Getting around the city will become much easier with the recent introduction of two new routes of the Sunshine Lamp Trolley beginning Jan. 2, 2009. The original route traveled in the northeast part of Joplin will be expanded to eighteen stops, and the new routes provide thirty-four stops covering the southern and western portions of Joplin.
"Our citizens have been very supportive of our initial efforts with the Trolley running in the northeastern area of Joplin," said Lolley. "They have also indicated a desire for the system to travel to the southern areas of Joplin, including the medical community. These new routes will accomplish these goals."
A 2008 survey of citizens showed that more than 75 percent of the respondents wanted transportation to the medical community in southwest Joplin. In addition, other locations such as restaurants and shopping areas, received great support as well. The new routes will provide stops in these areas.
The Joplin City Council approved the expansion to the Sunshine Lamp Trolley system and the addition of two more vehicles to better serve our citizens. Currently, the Trolley travels on a one-hour loop through northeast Joplin. The new additional routes will help to encompass nearly the entire city.
The south route, also known as the "Green Route", will take riders on an hour loop on 20th Street from Maiden Lane to Range Line and along 32nd Street from Range Line to McClelland Boulevard.
The west route, also known as the "Red Route" will travel on McClelland Boulevard and Maiden Lane from 32nd Street to 7th Street. At Seventh Street, the Trolley will go west to Schifferdecker and return on West Fourth Street to Main Street where it heads south to 32nd Street. Stops along these routes include Wal-Mart on West Seventh; Freeman Hospital East and West, and St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Other stops are designated on the map. Each Trolley Stop is marked with appropriate signage. Patrons are asked to wait near the sign for the trolley
A new fare structure will also be introduced in 2009. Trolley rides continue to cost $1, but the City now offers a half-fare program to those who qualify, including riders who are 60 years of age or older; disabled; or receive Medicare. A monthly Trolley Pass is also available for $30 and allows unlimited rides during a calendar month. For those who qualify for the half-fare program, the pass will cost $15. These passes can be purchased at the Finance Department in City Hall, 602 South Main, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A deviated route service that is available for anyone living within ¾-mile of a Trolley Route has also been established. The service allows riders to schedule a ride on the closest Trolley Route with as little as one hour’s advance notice. Deviated route service costs $2 per ride. To schedule a deviated stop, riders should call (417) 626-8609.
The additional routes will be driven with two 14-seat transportation vans. Both are equipped for wheelchairs. The vehicles, although smaller in size for better maneuverability, will be fashioned to resemble the current trolley's historical look.
Trolley service is available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It does not run on New Year's Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday following; and Christmas Day.
A complete listing of guidelines and a map of all Trolley routes are available on the City of Joplin website, www.joplinmo.org with the keyword: Sunshine Lamp Trolley, or by calling (417) 626-8609, or (417) 624-0820, ext. 204.