University News

Macomb Transit Center Open House April 1

March 26, 2013

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MACOMB, IL -- To celebrate the grand opening of the new Macomb Transit Center at 701 E. Pierce St., an open house and tour will be held from 2-5 p.m. Monday, April 1 at the center. The public is invited to attend. During the open house, buses will run continuously to and from the Macomb Transfer Center (next to the Macomb Train Station) and the Sherman Hall front parking lot to the transit facility.

The facility houses the administrative offices, dispatch centers, driver training, bus and van storage, fueling station, a vehicle wash building and vehicle maintenance center for the McDonough County Public Transportation Program (MCPT), which includes Western Illinois University's Go West transit system. The $13.8 million grant-funded project involved the renovation of a former manufacturing facility on East Pierce Street in Macomb. A portion of the building was demolished and the remaining 80,000 square feet was renovated, incorporating "green" technology into the project including solar tracking skylights, high efficiency heating and cooling, reflective roof materials and well-insulated walls and ceilings.

In addition to the $13.8 million construction grant, an additional $1.1 million in grant funding was awarded to the City of Macomb for the purchase of two large buses and three super-medium buses, according to Jude Kiah, director of WIU's Go West transit system. The project, which was completed by Laverdiere Construction of Macomb, began Nov. 21, and was completed four weeks ahead of the projected April 29 completion date.

MCPT, which is owned by the City of Macomb, provides demand response, fixed route and paratransit service in Macomb and McDonough County through three agencies: Go West (fixed routes) and Bridgeway and the Lamoine Valley Red Cross (demand response and paratransit services). Demand response routes began in 1982, while the fixed response routes began in 1999. The MCPT operates 52 public transportation vehicles, ranging from mini-vans to 40-foot buses, and provides public transportation services daily when WIU is in session, and Monday through Saturday during the summer months and during Western's breaks.

Kiah noted that in FY'12, MCPT provided more than 2 million one-way rides in Macomb and McDonough County. Demand response and paratransit ridership accounted for 50,731 trips, while the fixed routes accounted for 1.9 million trips.

For more information on MCPT and the Macomb Transit Center, contact 837-RIDE (7433).

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Office of University Relations