Kendall County plans to build facility for bus fleet at Route 47 and Galena Road

YORKVILLE – The Kendall Area Transit bus service will get a home of its own on a piece of county-owned property at the southwest corner of Route 47 and Galena Road in Yorkville.

Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel outlined plans for the facility during budget hearings with the Kendall County Board on Sept. 8.

Known as KAT, the on-demand bus service uses 17 vehicles to transport county residents, with a priority to provide mobility for seniors and those who are disabled.

Early this year, the county received a $4 million grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Rebuild Illinois capital program for constructing a bus dispatch center and maintenance facility.

The county also has $350,000 in state funds to be used for engineering and architectural design, Koeppel said.

The site, which was handed over to the county by the state of Illinois more than 15 years ago, has two driveway entrances off Galena Road leading to a paved parking area in the middle of the 5-acre parcel.

“That’s the leading candidate” for the bus facility location, Koeppel said after the meeting, noting that its use will save the county a considerable amount of money for land acquisition.

“It’s a great location to get to anywhere in the county,” Koeppel said.

Kendall County plans to build a facility for the Kendall Area Transit bus service on this piece of property at the southwest corner of Route 47 and Galena Road in Yorkville. The site is seen here looking west along Galena Road.

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 West John Street.

County officials had been seeking $12 million from the state to build a unified facility. The smaller grant amount will not be enough to put the vehicles in an enclosed storage area, but they will be sheltered from the elements and inside a fenced-in area.

“It will be covered and it will be secure,” Koeppel said.

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

Operating from a central location will be more efficient, Koeppel said.

Demand for the KAT service has grown considerably as Kendall County’s population has increased. The nonprofit 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 $3 fare for a one-way trip, curb-to-curb. For destinations outside 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 fewer than two days in advance.

Medical trips may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance but not fewer than two days before the trip.

The scheduling gives priority to seniors and those with disabilities.

To participate in the Kendall Area Transit program, one must become a registered rider. Information is available by calling Kendall Area Transit at 877-446-4528.

Kendall County plans to build a facility for the Kendall Area Transit bus service on this piece of property at the southwest corner of Route 47 and Galena Road in Yorkville. The site is seen here looking northeast.