Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

April 18, 2014

Low ridership drives fee up

Not enough area residents are taking advantage of Effingham County Public Transportation, forcing the public transit system to raise its fees.

Effingham County Tax and Finance Committee heard Thursday from Phil Toops, who acts as a liaison between the transit system and the county, that they are looking at an operational budget of $607,984 for the upcoming year. According to Toops, that is approximately $50,000 less than the current budget. The service offers community residents public transportation, and works with local organizations to provide transport.

Funds for the program are made available through the state, with the county acting as an oversight for the organization.

“You have to have a government agency involved, because money is coming from the state,” said Tax and Finance Chairman Rob Arnold. “We wouldn't deny those funds unless there was some abuse, which we haven't seen.”

After its first year of service has failed to produce enough ridership, Toops informed the board that the program is proposing increasing the passenger fee from $2 to $3 each way for transportation. He did not provide ridership figures at Thursday's meeting.

“We are using the increased fare to generate more income,” he said.

“Everything that I am hearing about the program is positive,” said Arnold. “Obviously, because the fees are going up, they aren't having the usage they were projecting.”

Several entities contract service through the organization, including Rides Mass Transit, Central Illinois Public Service, ARC and Effingham County Committee on Aging.

In other news, the committee:

• Approved a motion to increase the annual salary for county officials by $1,200. Those officials include the Effingham County clerk, treasurer, supervisor of assessments, sheriff and circuit clerk. Those raises must also be approved by the Effingham County Board.

• Approved a levy amount of $94,000 for the University of Illinois Extension. Arnold said it is the average amount levied by the county for the extension program.

Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, at tony.huffman@effinghamdailynews.com or on Twitter @Ednthuffman.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron W.jpg Opinion: Column break just that -- a break

    ‘Hey, Ron. You didn’t have a column this week. What’s the deal? It’s the reason I buy a paper on Thursdays.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Isom.jpg Opinion: It's about time

    Finally, someone else speaks up and it’s about time.
    I applaud Ron Worman and welcome him to take a seat on my bandwagon. His addressing the proliferation of signs of every description, virtually everywhere one looks, is a welcome additional voice — even though rare.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Effingham County was meeting place for underage sex tryst

    An Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he traveled out of state to meet an underage person in Effingham County for sexual activity.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jail inmate attempts suicide

    An unscheduled cell check is credited for saving the life of an Effingham County Jail inmate who tried to hang himself early Thursday morning.

    July 25, 2014

  • Woman injured in Farina collision

    An accident on Washington Street sent one driver to the hospital Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Driver crashes after being forced off road

    A driver crashed after being run off the road by a semi on Interstate 70.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rollover on I-70 sends one to hospital

    An accident on Interstate-70 sent one traveler to the hospital.

    July 25, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.