TRANSIT REQUESTS RIDERS' PATIENCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Kim Jobe, FCTA Marketing Director
Ask any industry, business, or agency leader within America what their biggest issue is to date, and their answers will probably be the same – shortage of employees.
Fulton County Transit Authority fits in that scenario.
“We are unlike any other industry in the area,” said FCTA Interim Executive Director Kenney Etherton. “We are understaffed. We could put a minimum of 10 people to work today.”
In the wake of COVID-19, FCTA has been seeking to increase the number of Drivers employed at the agency. Various tactics have been used to recruit people to join the FCTA team: social media; radio, TV, and newspaper advertising; digital signage; banners; flyers; brochures; and job fairs. Although the numbers have increased slightly, more Drivers are needed to efficiently get clients “Going & Coming Your Way.”
The tornado that hit Mayfield/Graves County on December 10, 2021, affected FCTA as well.
“FCTA lost 13 vehicles in the tornado that were parked at our Mayfield office on North 9th Street,” Etherton said. “We have placed orders twice to replace them, and both orders have been cancelled. In a recent meeting we were told it could be three years before we are able to receive vehicles. Our industry is now suffering a 10,000-unit backlog of production of Transit vehicles.”
Although FCTA Buildings and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Chris Brown is a master at keeping Transit vehicles on the road well past their usual numbers on odometers, the aging fleet at the agency is making those in charge a bit nervous as well since new vehicles are almost impossible to come by currently.
With all this stated as well as client numbers returning to the pre-COVID era, Etherton is not hesitant to ask for patience from the public.
“People are getting back out since the positive COVID case numbers are continuing to lower,” Etherton added. “FCTA standards are high, and we realize the public holds us to a high standard of transportation for the clients we serve. We simply ask you to be patient with us as we continue to work through this staff and vehicle shortage. Hopefully it will be temporary.”
FCTA was born to serve clients in Fulton, Hickman, Graves, and Carlisle counties.
“FCTA has a professional staff, and we truly enjoy transporting our clients,” Etherton said. “It is our goal to respond to your transportation needs as soon and as professionally as we possibly can.”
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