College of Arts and Sciences

Go West Adds New Route

February 15, 2011

MACOMB, IL -- Feb. 22 marks a day of historical events: George Washington was born; Woolworth's opened its first five-cent store; Elvis Presley entered the music charts for the first time and .... Go West was born.

On Feb. 22, 1999, Western Illinois University launched the Go West Transit System with three buses and two routes. Today, 28 buses and -- effective Feb. 21 -- 14 routes, including several community routes, comprise WIU's and the McDonough County Public Transportation System's fixed route bus system. During the past 12 years, Go West has carried nearly 15 million riders, and carries approximately 55,000 riders each week.

Yellow Route #14 will begin its run Monday, Feb. 21, connecting individuals who live in River Run Apartments off of Rt. 67 and WIU north quad residents with the Macomb downtown. While WIU students have a variety of options to get a ride downtown, the north quadrant of campus has not been connected to that area during daytime hours, nor has service been extended north of campus until now, according to Go West Director Jude Kiah.

"It's essential to provide services that not only our campus community requests, but also to Macomb community residents who rely on public transportation," Kiah said. "We're pleased to offer another option for our students and for the community."

In 2010, Go West was named the inaugural recipient of the Gold Award for Bus Security Program Excellence from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Go West was the only system in the nation in the under four-million ridership category to receive the Gold Award. In 2008, the Go West system was one of 10 transit systems -- and the only rural fixed route system -- in the U.S. honored by the Federal Transit Administration Award for Success in Enhancing Ridership.

"We are continually working to further improve the system to make it as convenient as possible for the public to get where they need to go," Kiah added.

For more information on Go West, including bus routes, schedules and fares, visit To check real-time bus schedules, visit

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606