Public Transportation System Officially Unveiled
Published on August 17 2013 12:45 pm
Last Updated on August 17 2013 12:49 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
(EFFINGHAM COUNTY BOARD CHAIRMAN JIM NIEMANN AND RETIRED COUNTY BOARD CHAIRMAN CAROLYN WILLENBURG ARE FRONT AND CENTER FOR THE RIBBON-CUTTING FOR THE RURAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NETWORK FOR THE COUNTY FRIDAY)
Effingham County officially rolled out rural public transportation services Friday to the public in an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Effingham County Courthouse Museum. Public officials, local providers, community partners and riders were present to celebrate the implementation of the public transportation system in Effingham County.
A two-year transportation strategic planning process led by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Public and Intermodal Transportation, the Rural Transit Assistance Center, Human Service Transportation Plan staff and local public, private and resident input developed the coordinated transportation system for Effingham County. Proponents say the coordinated planning process has maximized the local coordination of transit services for Effingham County riders in a cost-efficient manner.
Effingham County Board Chair Jim Niemann stated, “The Effingham County Board is extremely excited to see the system come into full operational status for the residents of Effingham County. The Effingham County Public Transportation coordinated transportation delivery system will provide the best use of federal, state and local funds to allow consumers the greatest possible access to local services in the county. Public transit has been traditionally scarce in most rural places and it is now great that transit services are here in Effingham County to promote improved access to local services.”
The mission of the Effingham County Public Transportation system is to increase access to employment, education, medical and social activities while providing safe, affordable and efficient transportation for all. The Effingham County Board selected the C.E.F.S./Central Illinois Public Transit (CIPT) Program to be the local administrator, dispatcher and a service provider for the county. Central Illinois Public Transit Program subcontracted with Rides Mass Transit District (RMTD) to be a service provider in the coordinated delivery system for Effingham County.
A number of local community partners entered into a collaborative agreement to effectively deliver a coordinated transit system in Effingham County. Central Illinois Public Transit (CIPT), Rides Mass Transit District (RMTD), ARC Community Support Systems (ARC), Opportunities for Access (OFA) and the Effingham County Committee on Aging (ECCOA) developed a local memorandum of understanding with a goal that the coordinated public transit system delivers the most efficient and the highest quality of services for the residents in Effingham County. Organizers say the Effingham County Public Transportation system will effectively coordinate local service delivery and new services to eliminate duplication.
Effingham County Board Chair Niemann thanked the many people and organizations that participated in the planning, design and implementation phases of the Effingham County Public Transportation delivery system.
“This public transit system is our system and it should work for us and the residents of Effingham County,” stated Board Chair Niemann.
Organizers say Effingham County Public Transportation is a comprehensive and coordinated rural public transportation system in the Effingham County area providing direct transit services and linkages to address the access issues facing county residents and providing local community access solutions to meet those needs. Effingham County Public Transportation is funded in part by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Illinois Department on Aging, local public funds, rider fares and donations.
More information about getting a ride or about Effingham County Public Transportation can be obtained at www.effinghamcountypublictransportation.com or by calling at 1/855-755-2478.