Hancock County – Hancock County could have a public transportation system in place by January 1st.
Greg Sandidge is on the Hancock County Transportation Planning Committee. Sadidge says citizens want some sort of transportation service in Hancock County. "We feel like there are a lot of unmet needs here in Hancock County," says Sandidge. "One of them was identified as medical transportation. That's what's driving us to get this up and running is to help our citizens here in the county get to that point where they can get transport services."
"A needs survey was done back in 2007," says Sandidge. "We've been working with IDOT and federal and state government agencies to help formulate what we can do for transportation for some of our disabled residents and people that need to go to medical appointments."
Sandidge says the transportation system will be self sufficient. "It's not a tax on the county," says Sandidge. It will be paid for with bus fares, donations, and state and federal grants.
He says McDonough County Public Transit will be the lead agency for the system. "Basically the way the system is going to be working is the dispatch will all go in to the McDonough County transport system and they will dispatch our vans for us," says Sandidge. "We will pay them a fee to do that."
Sandidge says it will cost roughly $90,000 to get the system up and running. "We are looking for private donations from businesses and citizens," says Sandidge. "This will help get the service started. We know we've got some commitments to some local agencies, but we are still in need of money to get the program off the ground."
Sandidge says anyone interested in making a donation to the transportation system can call the Hancock County Health Department at 217-357-2171.