Bus service between IVCC, Streator introduced

In the past, La Salle County has had some issues with transportation because everything seems to be so spread out across the land. The North Central Area Transit (NCAT) has become helpful in the transportation needs for the Illinois Valley and IVCC students.

This service is local and can take you to most of the places that would be of interest, such as the grocery store, doctor’s office, workplace, etc. There is also a service serving the Putnam and Bureau Counties called BPART. These services receive funding from Federal Transportation Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation.

Illinois Valley Community College is trying to help increase their number of students by showing them that the college is willing to help with providing transportation. Usually the cost of a one way trip for an adult is $2 dollars, but the IVCC Board of Trustees voted to donate $2,500 to help lower the cost for students. The exact costs are not set in stone yet, but are being discussed during meetings.

As of this point, Streator is the only town that has a pick-up destination. Towns that are in between Streator and IVCC, such as Lostant and Tonica, are still in discussion whether or not they can become a part of the route.

This NCAT route is considered a “pilot route” which means that they are going to use this as a test run to see what kind of a difference that it can make. This route will be used for a year and then the results of the difference that it made will be compared to see if it can help out in the future.

As Mark Grzybowski, Interim Associate Vice President for Student Services, states, “If it’s beneficial for students, we will do everything in our power to support and promote it.”

This service is said to be starting in the Spring 2015 semester; if they can figure out all the details before that then there is a possibility of starting sooner.

One of the interesting facts that was mentioned about the capacity of NCAT was that there isn’t one. There is limited seating on each bus yes, but depending on the number of people who purchase tickets, NCAT will meet the demand.

This is very helpful to LaSalle County especially because no one is getting turned down because there isn’t enough room. NCAT will make room or find another bus perhaps just to make sure people get where they need to be.

This service is also a very organized one as well, officials say. To get a ride to your desired destination, you must call ahead and make a reservation. The office hours to make an appointment are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the hours of transportation are only 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.When calling to make a reservation you must provide certain information:

  • Name and Address
  • One or Multi-way trip
  • Telephone number
  • Date of appointment
  • Time of appointment
  • Address of destination including zip code

NCAT does have a planned departure, but they would be required to pick up riders who are unable to make it to the physical pick up location.

There are supposed to be a few different times that they would make a direct route to and from the college. The initial plan is for the bus to stop at the college around three times per day. These three times are before 8 a.m., around noon, and about 3 p.m. as well. These services will be offered Monday through Friday on all days that classes are being held.

Students are not limited to how much stuff that is allowed on the bus with them. Even if students have a school project that is a little large, they are still permitted to bring that with them as long as it is within reason and fits on the bus without violating any safety protocols.

This service has already been in service for La Salle County. IVCC is just working to make a direct route from Streator to the college.

If anyone was interested in reserving a ride with NCAT they would need to call 888-239-9228 or 815-288-2117.

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