Bus ridership at all time high, officials confident funding will - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Bus ridership at all time high, officials confident funding will last

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) --Funding for the city of Quincy's Transit lines is approved for next year.  This comes at a time when ridership on Quincy buses reaches an all-time high, and improvements to the service are on the way.

At Monday night's city council meeting, aldermen re-approved the purchase of ten new bus shelters. As more people ride the bus city officials say improvements like are becoming more important

"I take the bus to the doctor, I take the bus shopping, anything that I need to do," said bus rider Catherine Hayden.

In the last year ridership on Quincy Transit Lines jumped 5 percent with more than 500,000 riders in 2011.

That's about 100,000 more than last year.

To accommodate more riders, the city of Quincy will add ten new bus shelters at some of the most used bus stops in the city, not all locations are finalized.

"One of the primary areas we are looking at is 10th and Maine that is a heavily used area right behind us at 7th and Jersey and potentially 8th and Jefferson," said director of Quincy Transit Lines, Marty Stegeman.

Regular bus riders say they appreciate the one at 7th and Jersey and look forward to more.

"I got caught in the one down here it was hailing and everything else but I was safe and dry," said Hayden.

The new bus shelters have already been paid for through federal grant money.

That's a separate stream of money from what funds Quincy Transit Lines.

The system is heavily subsidized by the state of Illinois and while the state has been late on payments in recent years, city officials see no reason to worry about cuts in service

"We have applied for an been accepted for our grant so at least through 2013 we are good to go again and I feel very confident they will continue that program," said Stegeman.

Without the bus some say they would have no other way of getting around town, especially when a bus fare is just 50 cents.

"If you don't have a car and you have to go some place and you have to be there, even people that work, they're very dependent on it," said Hayden.

City council also adopted a resolution to authorize an agreement that would continue to provide transit service to Quincy University for the next three years.

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