Huntley has inked a deal with a local cab company to temporarily offer rides to seniors living in both Rutland and Hampshire townships.
In doing so, riders accustomed to using Grafton Township's buses won't see a break in service; Grafton leaders terminated rides to other townships effective Friday, and the cab service starts the following day. Grafton previously provided rides for Sun City residents in Rutland and Hampshire townships, Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson said.
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Dianne Hansen is a 75-year-old Rutland Township widow who uses a walker to get around. She has ridden Grafton's bus for three years and said word quickly spread about the new service.
"This is very lovely," she said. "(But) it's only a temporary solution, that's the only thing that bothers me."
The curb-to curb service, provided by Route 47 Taxi Transportation, would cost $2 a ride and run between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Huntley is paying for the service with about $5,800 Grafton officials recently returned to the village and nearly $200 of its own money. Rutland declined to chip in $24,000 to keep the six-year-old service intact.
That's when Huntley stepped in and offered this short-term solution.
"In June, the village of Huntley entered into an intergovernmental agreement to provide senior transportation services for village residents in Rutland and Hampshire townships," Johnson said, adding that talks of a longe-term solution will likely continue during budgeting. "We believe it was the right thing to do to use the funds returned from Grafton for the services the funds were intended to provide."
Huntley will keep the program going until the money runs out. After that, riders are on their own to find other rides. A manager from the cab company could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Service will be limited to trips within Huntley. You can register for rides by calling the village at (847) 515-5261 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.