Lack of inter-connectivity has always been the problem in delivering bus service to the suburbs. To get from one town to the next, you had to be able to get from your home to the bus stop.
During the 1974 RTA referendum, proponents promised,
“Public transportation, when and where you need it, throughout the region.”
“Right,” I thought then. “Not in my lifetime.”
Now local officials have forged an agreement to allow those living in Crystal Lake (the city, not the zip codes 60012 and 60014) to get to and from home and McHenry and/or Woodstock or anywhere in Dorr Township, plus all combinations thereof.
Here is the county’s press release on the ribbon cutting:
PACE Ribbon Cutting
WOODSTOCK, IL – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held this morning to commemorate the launch of a program to expand Pace Dial-a-Ride services in McHenry County.
The Program, which officially went into service last Saturday, enables registered users to arrange transit trips between the cities of Crystal Lake, McHenry, and Woodstock, and for seniors and people with disabilities the area also includes all of McHenry Township and unincorporated Dorr Township.
Near the Vietnam War Memorial at the County Administration building, County Board Chairman Ken Koehler provided a few words for the occasion:
“It would be an understatement to say it’s been a very long journey from planning stage to implementation of these services… This project, funded by the Senior Services Grant Commission and the County Transit Grant Program will have immediate impacts to many with limited mobility in the County and will, in the long-term, create positive social and economic impacts.”
The seeds for this service were first planted in 2005, when the County Board approved a Transit Plan calling for the coordination of transit services.
Pace Board Chairman Richard Kwasneski heralded the new service as an example of the kind of coordination that will be necessary for successful transit systems in the future.
Sandra Salgado, McHenry County Board member and Chair of the County’s Senior Services Grant Commission, expressed how happy the Commission members are to see this service provide new transportation options for McHenry County’s seniors. In late 2007, the Senior Services Grant Commission awarded funds to the McHenry County Division of Transportation to begin a program of coordinated transit services.
Anna May Miller, also a Board member and Chair of the County’s Transportation Committee, shared her enthusiasm for this first step in coordinated, expanded transit services. The Transportation Committee authorized a Transit Grant Program that provided funding for the service in 2009 using the County’s RTA Sales Tax.
County Chairman Koehler, Pace Chairman Kwasneski, County Board Member Salgado, County Board Member Miller, and McHenry Township Supervisor Donna Schaefer cut the red ribbon over the door of the Pace bus, officially declaring the service up and running.
Other attendees at this event included: County Board members Lyn Orphal, Mary Donner, and Mary McCann; Bob Pierce, Dorr Township Supervisor; Don Kopsell, Nunda Township Road District Commissioner; Mayor Susan Low, City of McHenry; Mayor Brian Sager, City of Woodstock; Pace Executive Director T. J. Ross; McHenry County Engineer/Director of Transportation Joseph Korpalski, Jr.; and Pioneer Center President and CEO Lorraine Kopczynski.