WIU enrollment drop impacts bus services - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WIU enrollment drop impacts bus services

MCPT bus picking up students. MCPT bus picking up students.
Inside a MCPT bus. Inside a MCPT bus.
MCPT Services. MCPT Services.
WIU students on campus. WIU students on campus.
Nathan Cobb at MCPT. Nathan Cobb at MCPT.

Transportation officials in McDonough County said that if the drop in Western Illinois University enrollment continues, they may have to cut bus routes and the number of buses available.

Isai Lopez lives a mile from the WIU campus and relies on McDonough County Public Transportation to get to and from classes. 

"As long as the carousels, you know purple and gold, still keep going, then we can get easy access to all the classes and all the campuses," Lopez said. "It'd be nice to keep those around." 

Nathan Cobb, McDonough County Public Transportation's Transit Director, said the drop in WIU enrollment over the last few years prevents the company from accessing as much grant money. 

"The students pay a fee for the transit service," Cobb said. "That fee makes up about 20% of our funding that we get to run our entire program." 

Last year, MCPT had to change a few routes and take a few hours of service off each day. The company also had to take one bus off the campus route. 

Some students rely solely on the buses to take them to restaurants and grocery stores. 

"For people who don't have cars, like me, we wouldn't be able to go to Walmart or things in town," said Lopez. 

Cobb said that while ridership is still high with half a million rides so far this year, additional routes may need to be cut if the enrollment trend continues. 

"I think our team will just look at where we can cut without the least effect and still provide the best service we can."

Cobb said MCPT plans to wait to see how this year's funding goes before they announce any changes. 

To access the bus schedule and maps, go to MCPT's website.

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