Capital Transit is suspending Route 5 University Connector and Route 6 Riverside/Airport Connector starting Monday, Dec. 12 and will be suspended until further notice. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Capital Transit is suspending Route 5 University Connector and Route 6 Riverside/Airport Connector starting Monday, Dec. 12 and will be suspended until further notice. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Two Capital Transit routes suspended amid driver shortage

Routes 5 and 6 will be discontinued until further notice starting Monday

Capital Transit is suspending another round of bus routes as it feels the sting of its ongoing issues with driver shortages.

According to a recent news release shared by the City and Borough of Juneau, two routes will temporarily stop running starting Monday, Dec. 12 and will be suspended until further notice.

The routes set to be suspended are Route 5 University Connector and Route 6 Riverside/Airport Connector. Capital Transit recommends riders use routes 3, 4 and 8 as alternative services.

“It’s unfortunate but we’re just seeing another downturn in drivers,” said Hal Kuln, operations supervisor at Capital Transit. “We’re trying to get more people but it’s not happening very quickly.”

Kuln said riders will still be able to get to the areas they need to get to, however, it’s going to take longer.

He said Capital Transit is currently short six drivers and is looking for people to fill those positions. The organization has 25 drivers at the moment.

Kuln said the shortage of drivers and difficulty of hiring has been particularly tough during the last years and said cutting routes was difficult but necessary decision at this time.

“It’s harder to get a CDL now and it’s also hard to find people,” he said.

Kuln said it can often take up to two months to train someone for the position, and said though the Capital Transit has a few people interested, it will be some time before they are trained.

Kuln said he encouraged people to apply for a position at Capital Transit if they are interested.

“Hopefully we can get routes up by spring,” he said. “This is not a decision we take lightly and it’s something we didn’t want to do, but sometimes your hands are tied.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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