Mass Transit

Ribbon Cutting for Rides Mass Transit Center

Sep 23, 2019
A group of people cutting a ribbon with giant scissors.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Local leaders, including Senator Dale Fowler and Representative Dave Severin, gathered in Marion this morning to cut the ribbon for the new Rides Mass Transit Center.

"Right now, the Rides transit program is up and functional, but this facility will be a better location for people to get to," Severin said. "A lot of times they're maybe hanging out at a convenience store or whatever. This will be a specific location for buses and transit." 

The state budget impasse has left Illinois months behind in payment to downstate mass transit agencies. That's led to cuts in service from Kankakee to Jacksonville.

They agencies are funded in part by local sales tax collections. But that money has to pass through state government. Even after another $19.3 million dollars was released Monday, the Illinois comptroller's office says the state still owes transit agencies $70 million dollars.

Several downstate mass transit districts say they are on the verge of shutdown — or have already shut down.

Thousands of people rely on the services to get to medical appointments, the grocery store, or even work. And in turn the services rely on the state of Illinois for their funding.