Rockford Mass Transit updates bus routes

Effective Monday, March 28, the Rockford Mass Transit District made a few modifications to some of the existing bus routes. These changes are the result of passenger suggestions since March 1, 2004, when the District completely overhauled its route system. In March 2004, RMTD completely reworked its bus route system to improve service and make transit rides more efficient. At the time the majority of the changes to the system were well received, RMTD said. There were, however, some routes that passengers did not like, and they offered suggestions on how to improve these routes. After reviewing these suggestions and reworking the routes to incorporate these ideas, the District introduced the revised bus routes Monday, March 28.

For most passengers, the changes will have very little impact on their commutes. The most significant changes to the route system are as follows:

No. 1 West State Street route will now be a 45-minute route with the route incorporating part of School Street and Johnston Avenue.

No. 2 School Street route will now be a 30-minute route, with service starting at 5:15 a.m. and running until 5:45 p.m.

No. 3 Huffman has been changed slightly to accommodate the new Wal-Mart on the corner of Central and Riverside during standard operating hours. This route will also become a 45-minute route with a 90-minute headway. Service on this route starts at 5:15 a.m. and runs at 90-minute intervals until 6 p.m.

No. 11 East State Street route will service the entire corridor of East State Street. It will leave the downtown Transfer Center every half hour at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour and run from the Transfer Center to Lyford Road.

The new East State Street route incorporates the areas that the State Street Circulator serviced. The Circulator is being discontinued.

The No. 11 East State Street route will service the Center for Sight and Hearing on Lyford Road during the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.

No. 13 Rural is now a 45-minute route that starts at 6:45 a.m. with 90-minute headways. This route runs until 5:15 p.m., and will now connect with the Alpine Crosstown route and the East State Street route at Lynmar and Morsay.

The No. 20 Alpine Crosstown will service Growth Enterprises on Clinton Avenue at 8:05 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. This route will also go down Material Avenue in Loves Park every run.

No. 22 North 2nd now has Express service down North Second Street along Sinnissippi Park at 5:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:50 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.

Night service will begin at 6:15 p.m. There will be hourly runs at 6:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. The old night service started at 6:45 p.m. RMTD believes that in starting service at 6:15 p.m., it will be eliminating the waiting time downtown for many passengers needing to get home after work.

There are two late-night shuttles that will leave from downtown at 11:15 p.m. and Colonial Village at 10:43, respectively, in an effort to take passengers to their final destination after service ends.

Maps and timetables are available at the Rockford Mass Transit District Transfer Center. Passengers are also encouraged to call 961-9000 to determine if these changes will affect their individual travel plans.

RMTD provides more than 1.5 million rides each year. The District has a fleet of 64 fixed route and paratransit vehicles, and offers 18 hours of service Monday through Friday, 13 hours of service on Saturdays and eight hours on Sundays. RMTD also provides service to Loves Park and Machesney Park.

From the April 27- May 3, 2005, issue

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