Logan County Board hears updates on Logan Mason Public Transportation

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[November 16, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Thursday, November 10, 2016, the Logan County Board held their monthly workshop to discuss committee updates and set the agenda for next Tuesday's regular board meeting.

The board heard a transportation committee update from Brenda Clark, Program Compliance Oversight Monitor for Logan Mason Public Transportation.

Clark said the program received the Downstate Public Transportation Operating (DOAP) Grant for $515,400 on November 3. The quarter began in July, so they were already past the first quarter before receiving the grant.

Clark said they are getting ready to send in the application for the 5311, a federal grant for $130,252.

Clark said ridership has increased quite a bit in the past few months. In July, there were 926 riders; in August, there were 1,140 riders; and in September, there was 1,320. Clark said these numbers bring them to a total of 33,386 rides provided in Logan and Mason County this year. She is "it is a good earmark for us. We are moving in the right direction.

Clark said, "our budget for the first quarter was $161,412. Our expenses came in at $148,334, so we are about $13,000 under budget." She said fares were $36,640 for the first quarter.

Clark said, "Things have grown exponentially and we are moving on the right track." Costs are down from around $95 for one trip to about $41. Audits have also been completed for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Clark said at Community Action, Craig Farnam is a new assistant director working on day to day operations, staff and driver training, and maintenance updates. Logan Mason Public Transportation received two new vehicles that are already being run.

Clark said she and Community Action's Transportation Director Diane Turner have both gone to trainings by the Illinois Public Transportation Association and quarterly meetings for the health service transportation program. Community Action has given LMPT its own Facebook page to share information and many are viewing it.

Clark said they are talking to the colleges about needs and working to reach more people who would benefit from the transportation program. They are trying to get more information out to the public.

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Clark said the new route went from a two hour route around town to a forty five minute loop and "everyone is very happy with it that has been riding." Cutting down from sixteen to nine stops has made a big difference.

Board member Pat O'Neill asked how many people used public transportation to get to the polls on election day.

Clark said there were just six people that used it.

Board member Kevin Bateman thanked Clark for "staying on top of transportation" and said Clark is a "great asset" who emails quickly with any questions.

Bateman said Tuesday night, he will motion for a resolution to support the benefit of the economy and citizens of Illinois with the 80-20 transit highway portion at sixty percent IDOT and forty percent local roads.

Board members present at the meeting were Chairman David Hepler, Vice Chairman Bob Farmer, Chuck Ruben, Gene Rohlfs, David Blankenship, Pat O’Neill, Emily Davenport, Kevin Bateman, Miles Craig, Rick Aylesworth, Scott Schaffenacker and Adam Schmidt.

The board will vote on the resolution at their regular board meeting Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

[Angela Reiners]

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