Community Partners Work to Bring Transit to Northern DeKalb County

SYCAMORE, IL – In Summer of 2018, the Voluntary Action Center (VAC) – in partnership with the Gracie Center, DeKalb County Community Gardens (DCCG), Family Service Agency (FSA), and the Kishwaukee Special Recreation Association (KSRA) – debuted a pilot bus program that services the northern portion of DeKalb County, especially Genoa, Kingston, and Kirkland.

The bus route, known as Route 41, will run Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is a dial-a-ride program similar to VAC’s other dial-a-ride transit programs. The route is still being developed to meet the needs of the community, but the route will help transport clients from the partner agencies to and from programs in the northern part of the County and DeKalb-Sycamore area.
Additionally, Route 41 will be open to the general public for transit. All rides are based on space and availability. For more information on VAC’s dial-a-ride policies, procedures, and fares, please visit www.vacdk.com/transportation.

The route is being funded through the mutual partnership of social service agencies, a grant from the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board (DCCMHB), and grants from Illinois Department of Transportation.

After the pilot concludes, the partner agencies will evaluate whether or not to continue the service permanently based on the initial program’s success.

“VAC is excited to support the pilot for bus service in the northern portion of the County. We feel that having another transportation option in our area will be beneficial to our community, and VAC and the partner agencies look forward to seeing what future opportunities will be available after a successful pilot,” said Ellen Rogers, VAC’s CEO/President.

Participants in the Gracie Center’s Vocational Skill Development Program were among the service’s first passengers to enjoy trips from DeKalb-Sycamore to Kingston and back home.

“This route is truly a blessing to the individuals in northern DeKalb County. I have lived in Genoa for 30 years. My daughter had to relocate to a different community as there was little transportation options for her,” said Julie Craig, Program Director at the Gracie Center. “I am so happy to say she can now come home independently to visit her family! Independence is so essential, and Route 41 gives her a bit more of that!”

According to the VAC, public transportation is a cornerstone of local economies in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Every $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns, powering community growth and revitalization, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

“VAC looks forward to expanding our TransVAC service to our partners, the communities in the north, and its residents. Our long-term goal is to be in as many places throughout the County as is possible to provide much-needed community transit to those who need it. Our hope is that this pilot will lead to long-term relationships and more opportunities,” said Paul LaLonde, VAC’s V.P. of Operations & HR.

ABOUT TRANSVAC
VAC operates TransVAC, a dial-a-ride service (also known as paratransit, door-to-door, demand-response), which is origin-to-destination transportation to residents or visitors of DeKalb County. All riders must be registered with VAC before using, all rides are based on vehicle space and availability, and trips must be scheduled at least two (2) days in advance. TransVAC is a community and public transportation service of DeKalb County and is particularly vital to seniors and individuals with disabilities. For information regarding registration, fares, and scheduling, please visit www.vacdk.com/transportation.