MAPS Transit & Sunshine Lamp Trolley Fast Facts 

Trolley Overview: According to Joplin Transportation Coordinator Robert Lolley, “Joplin currently operates three trolley routes that provide deviated fixed route service within our city limits. Deviated fixed route service is different than traditional bus routes. Our service allows riders to schedule a pick-up or drop-off at a location that is within three-fourths of a mile from a trolley route. We just ask the riders to call our dispatch office and schedule the ride with as little as a one-hour advanced notice. This system makes it easier for individuals with limited mobility to utilize public transportation.”       

By the Numbers: Lolley says, “The trolley system averages 300 rides per day or 102,000 annually. There are 64 designated trolley stops within the system. But, the deviation service function of the system allows the trolley to stop at almost every address in Joplin.”      

Destinations: “The trolleys provide access to Joplin’s three hospitals, city parks/pools, municipal buildings, senior housing developments, residential care facilities, doctor’s offices, medical centers, the public library, employment centers, movie theaters, senior center, restaurants, grocery stores and retail centers,” Lolley says.  

Hours: Monday-Friday from 7 am-6 pm and Saturday from 9 am-4 pm.     

Cost: $1 per ride or 50 cents for those ages 60+, disabled or Medicare recipients.      

All Aboard the Sunshine Lamp Trolley to Help Enhance our Environment 

   Preserving a better environment will benefit us all today and in the many tomorrows – days, weeks, months and years – to come. 

   Joplin’s Metro Area Public Transit System (MAPS) and the Sunshine Lamp Trolley service have become more instrumental in helping enhance our earth’s natural resources. 

   “Public transportation improves air quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy,” says Robert Lolley, who has served as Joplin’s transportation coordinator for 15 years. “Our trolleys carry an average of 10 riders per trip versus the average 1.6 passengers per trip in a private vehicle. 

   “The increased capacity on transit vehicles reduce the number of vehicles on the road. American Public Transportation Association (APTA) studies show public transportation use saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline and 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.” 

   Interestingly enough, Joplin has been doing its part to help our local habitat for quite sometime as the MAPS program began a little more than two decades ago and trolleys started trekking their way through town in 2007. 

   “MAPS Transit, our curb-to-curb, demand response transit service, started in 1998. City officials from Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, Carterville and Duquesne all got together and decided to pool local resources to provide the 50 percent matching funds necessary to support a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Urban transit system. 

   “Dick Largent was the driving force behind establishing MAPS. The original system utilized three vans to provide 58,630 rides annually. When I became transportation coordinator in 2005, I quickly realized the system was in desperate need of expansion. We operated six vans during peak hours and we still turned down 20 to 30 ride requests each day. 

   “Working through the public works director, David Hertzberg, I convinced the Joplin City Council to let me start a trolley route system on a trial basis,” Lolley says. “The first trolley route started operations in 2007, and we expanded the system to three routes in 2009. In 2018, MAPS Transit and the Sunshine Lamp Trolley provided 140,382 rides.” 

   Lolley is passionate about his job, and he says, “I feel an efficient public transportation system is an essential characteristic for a thriving community, whether the population is 50,000 or 500,000. 

   “As transportation coordinator, I enjoy connecting people to life-saving medical services, to pharmacies and grocery stores for daily necessities, and to movie theaters, senior centers and restaurants so that they can continue to live independently, surrounded by family and friends.” 

   The significance of enhancing our environment notwithstanding, Lolley emphasizes, “I know how important public transportation is to our riders, because without our service, they wouldn’t be able to experience life beyond their front doors. 

   “I’m the one who helps transport them to everything that is important for them to live a happy, healthy life, and that’s what makes me most proud to be part of the Sunshine Lamp Trolley and MAPS Transit.”