Tri-County Rural Transit is a new service being provided through the Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation. It started on April 1st, and runs Monday through Friday, from 8 a-m to 4 p-m in Greene, as well as Calhoun and Jersey Counties.
IVEDC spokeswoman Lacey Miller says this is the first transit service of its type for any of these counties. It’s being funded with a federal and state grant for rural public transport.
“It is one of the last counties in the State of Illinois to take advantage of this grant. The reason we were selected is because we had already done transportation for Greene and Jersey [Counties] through our senior program, and then for our rehabilitation program, we cover Greene, Jersey and Calhoun, so we were kind of the go-to because we have already been providing transportation. We had the vehicles and that type of thing,” she says.
Once the grant dries up, Miller says Tri-County Rural Transit will get operating assistance from the State of Illinois.
Back in 2013, the Greene County board of commissioners declined to vote on a proposal to join this program because it was funded by motor fuel tax money. Miller says permission was received from all three counties to move ahead with this project.
Miller says this program is open to the public for rides to pretty much anywhere.
“We’re pretty excited. We hope that this will grow our economy and make people more independent. We want to provide rides in all of the counties that we have and make it successful for everybody,” says Miller.
“You can take our transit because you wanted to visit a friend that lives farther away than what you can walk. We can take you to a library, we can take you to the laundromat, we can take you for an appointment, a hair appointment, or you want to go to the store. We can do any of that. It’s basically open for everybody for pretty much anything,” she continues.
The cost is two dollars in the service area for a one-way trip and four dollars for a round trip. Miller says rides will be offered to neighboring counties at a slightly higher cost.
To schedule a ride, call 1-844-TRI-RIDE, or 1-844-874-7433. Miller says you need to give 24 hours advanced notice for a local ride, or three days notice if you’re going out of the service area.