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updated: 3/25/2014 6:01 PM

Huntley to continue senior taxi service through year end

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Huntley will be extending its temporary taxi service for seniors and disabled residents through the end of the year, a village official said.

The village board Thursday night is expected to approve an agreement with Route 47 Taxi Transportation for $10,000 to provide discounted rides for those residents of Rutland and Hampshire townships. They can use the service to go anywhere within village limits for a flat $2 fee.

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The village started the Senior Transportation Voucher Program after Grafton Township discontinued its busing service for Sun City residents in Rutland and Hampshire townships Nov. 30 to cut costs.

Huntley previously subsidized Grafton $10,000 for providing the service to Sun City riders. Rutland Township declined to chip in $24,000 to keep the six-year-old service intact.

Huntley has been picking up the slack since Dec. 1 and initially allocated $6,000 for the taxi service, said village Clerk Rita McMahon, who is overseeing the voucher program.

"Grafton gave us $6,000 back so that's what we've been using, and we have spent just over $4,500 to date," McMahon said.

Huntley currently has 92 registered riders, of which 32 are utilizing the service, she added.

The additional $10,000 is to keep the service running only through 2014. As village officials begin 2015 budget discussions this fall, they will revisit whether to continue funding the service as is next year or explore other options, McMahon said.

Money for the voucher program is allocated out of the village general fund.

"We have direction from the board to look into alternative solutions," McMahon said. "We're trying to meet with different organizations to find if there are alternatives to what we're trying to do."

McMahon said the program has been received well and riders have provided feedback that they like the cabdrivers.

Qualifying residents can use the taxi service for any reason, be it for medical appointments or just grocery shopping.

To register for rides, call the village at (847) 515-5261 or send an email to rmmcmahon@huntley.il.us.

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