May 19, 2022
Government


Government

Kendall County awarded $4 million state grant for bus facility

County plans garage, dispatch center for Kendall Area Transit service

YORKVILLE – The Kendall Area Transit bus service will receive a $4 million state grant to build a new garage, maintenance shop and dispatch center.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday, Jan. 26 that the grant is being awarded to Kendall County from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

KAT uses 17 vehicles for its on-demand bus service for residents of the county, with a priority on providing mobility for seniors and those who are disabled.

Currently, KAT operates its vehicles from three locations in Yorkville, including the Kendall County Highway Department on Route 47, the Historic Courthouse parking lot downtown and the Kendall County Government Center campus on John Street.

County officials had been seeking $12 million to build a unified facility, meaning the size of the project will need to be scaled down.

“We’re going to build the best bus facility we can for $4 million,” County Administrator Scott Koeppel said.

The county has $300,000 in state grant money at its disposal for architectural and engineering plans to be drawn up, Koeppel said.

“We will be shovel-ready as soon as the state releases the $4 million,” Koeppel said, adding that the county currently is exploring options for siting the bus facility.

“Right now the bus facilities are scattered all over Yorkville,” Koeppel said. “It’s a huge boon for us to build this.”

The building will serve as the transit agency’s headquarters, dispatch center, maintenance garage and vehicle storage facility.

With the smaller grant, the county may not be able to get all of the vehicles into an indoor space, Koeppel said, but they would at least be sheltered from the elements and in a secure, fenced-in area.

The grant announced by the governor was among a total of $111 million in awards for transportation projects around the state.

Demand for the KAT service has grown considerably as the county’s population has increased. The non-profit KAT receives operating funds from local municipalities, the Regional Transportation Authority and federal grants.

Koeppel said the transit service is vital for seniors and disabled persons who need to make trips for medical appointments, banking and other day-to-day business.

KAT charges a minimal $3 fare for a one-way trip, curb-to-curb. For destinations outside of the county, an additional $2 fee is charged. Seniors 60 and older receive $1 off all fares.General trips may be reserved no more than six days and no less than 2 days in advance.

Medical trips may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance but no less than two days before the trip.

The scheduling gives priority to those with disabilities and to seniors.

In order to participate in the Kendall Area Transit program, one must become a registered rider. More information is available by calling Kendall Area Transit at 1-877-IGO-4KAT (1-877-446-4528).

Mark Foster

Mark Foster is a reporter for Kendall County Now, covering local government in Kendall County