Beginning in January, Kane County will become the program administrator and grantee for the Ride in Kane program — a move that will bring additional grant dollars and expanded transit service to residents 65 and over, individuals with disabilities and low-income residents.
Administered by the Association for Individual Development for the past seven years, Ride in Kane provides 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week transportation services to area residents in partnership with the Regional Transit Authority, Pace Suburban Bus, local municipalities and human service agencies.
Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog applauded the program’s long history of exemplary service.
“As program administrator and sponsor, we look forward to continuing this crucial service to our residents as well as enhancing and expanding it to better meet current and future needs,” she said.
Since 2007, the Regional Transportation Authority has provided operating and administrative funding for the Ride in Kane Program and Pace Regional Call Center through the Job Access Reverse Commute and Section 5310 program grants.
In August, Kane County was awarded a $2.66 million Section 5310 grant by the RTA as the proposed grantee of the Ride in Kane program. Additionally, two existing grants will be transferred to Kane County, including $2.45 million for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The grant also will include more than $800,000 in job-access funds for qualifying low-income residents.
In total, the county has received nearly $6 million in Federal Transit Administration funds to serve its residents through the Ride in Kane program.
The 15 participating Ride in Kane sponsors include Association for Individual Development, Aurora Township, city of Batavia and Batavia Township, Blackberry Township, Campton Township, city of Elgin and Elgin Township, city of Geneva, city of St. Charles and St. Charles Township, Hesed House, village of South Elgin, Kane County and Pace.
These participating sponsors have supported the program and continue to pledge their 50% local funding match required as program sponsors. Working together, these funds will reduce transportation barriers and expand mobility options to thousands of Kane County residents.
Working toward the transition in early 2022, Kane County Division of Transportation officials have hired the first Ride in Kane program coordinator, and have established a KDOT customer service center which will include a help desk phone line and an updated website.
Kane County will also expand Ride in Kane service, providing work trips for qualifying low income residents throughout Kane County, potentially assisting residents’ access to employment, training and new job opportunities.
Kane County Department of Transportation Deputy Director and Chief of Staff Tom Rickert said that the partnership with current sponsors throughout the county will be even more important as the program expands to serve other areas in the future.
“We really want to develop a program where we are partners in all of this,” Rickert said. “We want to continue to expand service and bring new townships into the program. It may take a year or two, (but we plan) to start moving out west of Randall Road with some of the program aspects.”
For additional information about the Ride in Kane program, contact Ride in Kane Program Coordinator Krystal Spracklen at email@example.com or call 630-406-7388.
SOURCE: Kane County news release