Pace Subsidy $15 a Ride

Take a look at these minutes from the McHenry County Board’s Transportation Committee.

The recommended resolution regarding Pace bus service was approved at the last Board meeting.

Of interest is the large subsidy for each person who uses the service–$15 per trip.

Resolution Authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement Between the County of McHenry and Pace Suburban Bus for MCRide Dial-A-Ride Transit Services in 2015

For consideration was an intergovernmental agreement between McHenry County and Pace, the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), for FY 2015.

A Pace bus.

A Pace bus.

MCRide is a coordinated dial-a-ride transit program currently funded by Pace, McHenry County, the cities of Crystal Lake, McHenry and Woodstock, the Village of Lakewood, the townships of Dorr, Greenwood and Nunda Township, a McHenry County Senior Services Grant, and a Section 5310 Federal grant.

The MCRide program has enabled intercommunity travel throughout the partner municipalities and townships, and has created a uniform fare structure and trip reservation process.

In an effort to further coordinate transit services in McHenry County, additional municipal and township partners are planned to be added to the MCRide service in 2015.

These new partners include the cities of Harvard and Marengo, the villages of Huntley, Johnsburg and Ringwood, and the townships of Grafton and Marengo.

Further coordination of transit services is consistent with recommendations made in the McHenry County 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan and the McHenry County Strategic Plan.

As the MCRide program has expanded to include additional partnering county agencies, the program has become more efficient.

Since the MCRide program began in February of 2012, the cost per trip has been reduced from almost $18.00 per trip to roughly $15.00 per trip.

During this same time, the ridership has grown from approximately 7,000 to 8,900 per month.

Each month, the County will be invoiced by Pace for MCRide services.

The municipalities and townships will be required to pay monthly invoices.

Monthly payments will be made to Pace based on the hours of service provided, less Pace subsidy of forty-nine and seven tenths of one percent (49.7%) of the project operating deficit, not to exceed $1,195,150.00 annually.

The RTA and County Senior Grant Commission will be responsible for reimbursements.


Pace Subsidy $15 a Ride — 18 Comments

  1. $15.00 a trip?

    Cab fare anyplace in town is only $5.00 or $6.00!

    Does the Crystal Lake Library know about this?

    They might want to start lending automobiles.

  2. Okay, let’s do the math: 8,900 trips per month times 12 months per year times $15.00 per trip.

    That’s about $1.6 million.

    8,900 trips per month times 12 months times $5.50 cab fare.

    That’s about $600,000 per year.

    So we, the taxpayers, pay 2.67 times market value for a service the private sector already provides.

  3. Over a week ago, I stopped at Crystal Lake McDonalds to pick up breakfast sandwich for co-worker; I had already eaten my breakfast at home.

    As I waited in the car lane, I ooticed a Pace Bus, with driver inside, and motor idling.

    This tells me the rider can afford fast food breakfast, unconcerned about the waste of gasoline and driver’s salary.

    I’ve often seen the Algonquin Township Senior Transportation bus in the IHOP parking lot in Crystal Lake.

    It burns me up that taxpayers are burdened by wasteful subsidies approved by the County Board members snd Townships that aren’t looking for efficiency.

    Anna May Miller will say anything to prop up their bloated salaries.

    What’s wrong with the voters that they don’t vote these people out of office! Lazy, gullible, or related to the beneficiaries of this waste????

  4. Maybe for in town, Steve, but how about if you want to go out of town?

    Regardless, we need Pace, if you take that away, how are folks who otherwise cannot afford a car supposed to get around?

  5. The MINIMUM charge for RT47 taxi is $7.00.

    The first one mile costs 4.80 with each additional mile costing $2.40.

    For $15 you can go $15-$2.40 base charge $12.60/2.40=5.25 miles.

    So if all taxi trips average 5.25 miles or less taxi’s are the way to go.

    If the average trip distance exceeds 5.25 miles then Pace is the way to go.

    Pace has driven costs from $18-$15 and is expected to drive costs down further (economies of scale) as ridership increases.

    This will further reduce the break even mileage of taxi service.

    Of course, I only checked RT47 taxi.

    Your mileage may be different.

  6. Observer, I appreciate your sentiments, but “we need Pace” does not help us determine a criterion for determining how much waste is acceptable.

    If it cost $150 per ride, would you say “we need Pace”?

    I think we would both agree not.

    So what we’re really discussing is how much how most economically to service the target public.

    And speaking of target public, did you know McRide is not means tested?

    I would suggest that it would make more sense to means test and offer ride coupons to people of modest income to allow them to use local taxis.

    Most of the McRide Service IS here in town, and for the same money we could literally fund two to three times the number of rides with a much smaller government bureaucracy.

    Would that be an acceptable alternative to you?

  7. While I usually agree with you Steve, and smart spending in government is essential; do you personally know anyone who depends on this service?

    Have you ever used the bus yourself?

    Numbers on paper are just part of the whole picture.

  8. I have personal experience with this service.

    There may be the implication that Pace riders are deliberately discouraged by professional taxi services.

    But there is a misunderstanding of the scope of Pace services.

    It is not a better solution, it is just the one chosen by local government.

    Note that Senior Services Inc.also provides NON- means-tested rides to seniors (unrestricted as to destination) and is VERY heavily subsidized by County tax dollars.

    My opinion is that Steve is correct.

    It would be doubly beneficial to establish an alternative coupons or vouchers for local taxis or Uber.

    Save money for taxpayers, and give local professional drivers assuredness of being paid.

  9. Dial-a-Ride is restricted as to travel boundaries.

    If a client wants a ride outside those boundaries they have many churches (and Senior Care Volunteer Network is another resource, formerly called ‘Faith In Action’) which offer free volunteer drivers.

  10. Dear 22, I appreciate your comments, but I think Susan answered your concern.

    Basically, the issue is not “should be provide some sort of transportation assistance” but HOW should we provide it.

    With the money we’re spending on McRide, we could, quite literally, provide the same number of rides for about 40% of what we’re paying now, or we could provide almost three times as many rides.

    And the current system is not means tested.

  11. Case studies often provide insight.

    Here is my experience:

    As a volunteer driver, and one refusing any recompense for gas money (which is offered by some 501c3 organizations receiving grant funding) I was looking to help people truly in need.

    After several years of driving, but with more non-means-tested rides thrown in making me uncomfortable, I performed my last volunteer drive:

    A middle-aged (‘senior’) couple in Sun City with a new car and new-looking golf cart in their driveway wanted a free ride to a non-emergency, elective medical appointment in a Western Chicago suburb.

    They spent the ride, both ways, describing their son the lawyer, their recent dining experiences at high-end restaurants, recent and planned trips to golf in Arizona, and how they would prefer I drive (more slowly).

    While I waited for them in the parking lot, I thought about how many other (needy) rides I could have given with that same time and gas money I had to spare.

    Since then I have a few people whom I personally drive.

    It isn’t tax deductible and God help me if there is a lawsuit.

    But that’s what I can live with.

    If I want to exist without abrogating responsibility for fellow humans to a Nanny State, and then being obligated to pay the Whopping Bill the Nanny State presents, this is the solution which seems logical to me.

  12. My brother-in-law, who is handicapped, uses Pace to get from his home in Fox River Grove to his job in Crystal Lake.

    He couldn’t work without some sort of transportation service, so I’d be very interested to know if there’s a way for him to get the service he needs at less cost to the taxpayer.

  13. As a human who feels some moral obligation to care about other humans (related or unrelated by blood), I have performed research and participated in actual driving.

    My personal conclusion based upon my own experiences and analyses:

    I have a few people whom I personally drive.

    It isn’t tax deductible and God help me if there is a lawsuit.

    But that’s what I can live with.

    If I want to exist without abrogating responsibility for fellow humans to a Nanny State, and then being obligated to pay the Whopping Bill the Nanny State presents, this is the solution which seems logical to me.

  14. At its old location, I saw the Wauconda Township Bus sitting in the parking lot.

    I guessed that seniors were having lunch.

  15. I checked with Northwest Taxi. Their rates are $2.00 to get in a cab, plus $2.00 per mile, plus $2.00 for each additional passenger.

    I live 2.6 miles from the train station, so if my wife and I take a taxi to the station, it will cost us $2.00 to get in the cab + $2.00 additional passenger fee + 2.6 miles x $2.00 per mile = $9.20, plus tip.

    The same trip via Pace would cost the taxpayers $30 and my wife and I $3.00 out of pocket. We could use McRide since it is not means tested. We don’t.

    If usage were means tested, then there would be more money available for those who truly need this service.

    If we offered trip vouchers, we could increase the service available to people in need by 100% to 200%.

    And the service would be door-to-door instead of “jitney”, meaning you may make several stops along the way.

    Which is better for people in need?

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