Huntley might soon offer permanent bus service for all residents, not just seniors.
The village board's committee of the whole Thursday will review a memorandum of understanding and resolution to join McHenry County Division of Transportation's MCRide Dial-a-Ride Transit Service program.
The service, started in 2012, is a partnership between Pace Suburban Bus, McHenry County, the towns of Crystal Lake, McHenry and Woodstock, and the townships of Dorr, Greenwood and McHenry.
It would cost Huntley $48,582 yearly -- $2 per resident -- to participate and would allow residents to commute within village limits whether in Kane or McHenry counties, and to participating communities within McHenry County, Assistant Village Manager Lisa Armour said.
Village officials have sought financial help from Grafton and Rutland townships and the Sun City Huntley Community Association to cover the cost of the MCRide service.
Grafton Township has committed to contributing $10,000 toward the program, while Rutland Township's board and the Sun City Community Association have declined participation, per a memo from Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson.
Sun City Community Association Executive Director Lauren Lee said in a letter to Johnson the program would not be beneficial to the senior retirement community's residents because places frequented by them are not part of the bus service's route.
Huntley started a temporary taxi service Dec. 1 for seniors living in Rutland and Hampshire townships, including Sun City, after Grafton Township terminated its bus service to other townships. Grafton ended rides for Sun City residents in Rutland and Hampshire townships because Rutland Township declined to chip in $24,000 to keep the service going.
Huntley's curb-to-curb taxi service, provided by Route 47 Taxi Transportation, costs $2 a ride and runs between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays. Huntley started the service with about $5,800 Grafton officials had returned to the village and some of its own money.
In March, village board members allocated an additional $10,000 to continue the taxi service because the initial funding was running out.
If the village board approves of joining MCRide, Huntley residents would be able to use the bus service in 2015. The cost of a ride is $2 for the general public, $1 for seniors and people with disabilities, and 25 cents extra for each additional mile after the first five miles. The service would run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The village would have to allocate $38,582 for the service in the 2015 budget. Officials also are working on securing federal transit grants that could save the village roughly $10,000.
According to the village of Huntley, several other towns are considering joining the Dial-a-Ride service for 2015 and 2016, including Algonquin, Cary, Harvard, Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, Lakemoor, Lakewood and Marengo.