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New bus options bring jobs, shopping, health care to Madison County residents

Madison County Transit
A Madison County Transit bus around Wood River.

Madison County, Illinois, bus riders will soon start seeing some changes in service. 
Starting next Sunday, Madison County Transit will bring an entirely new bus route to areas popular with the Highland community, and add evening and weekend service elsewhere.

The expanded services will not be offered on all routes. Instead, according to SJ Morrison, Director of Marketing and Planning for Madison County’s transit system, the department evaluated holes in service and community demands, then chose to expand bus routes that demonstrated the most need.

Credit Madison County Transit
Madison County Transit
A Madison County bus.

  “We heard time and time again from passengers that they need bus service to access jobs," said Morrison. "They need the service to access medical appointments, and shopping centers, and a variety of others. Some of which are life-sustaining services.”

Reaching jobs isn't just a matter of expanded routes; it's also a matter of later hours.  

“As we heard from folks who said, ‘you know we literally cannot work certain jobs because the bus service ends at six o’clock or seven o’clock,’ we decided it was time to take a look at our routes where there was the greatest demand for later service and extend our trips on those routes.”

Six new bus drivers will be hired to support the new services. State money and existing sales tax funded the expansion. Morrison said that no fare changes have been implemented at this time, and that if they are implemented, they will not be related to these changes. 

 These changes mark the second and final phase in a two-step process that Madison County Transit began planning last fall.  

A summary of service changes is below. For full details on changes and times, see here

Later weekday service in Alton

  • #9 Washington Shuttle
  • #10 State & Elm Shuttle

New Saturday service in Bethalto

  • #12 Bethalto Shuttle

New Sunday service in Granite City and Alton

  • #2 Granite City Shuttle
  • #9 Washington Shuttle
  • #10 State & Elm Shuttle

New fixed-route in Highland

  • #14 Highland Shuttle

Expanded route between Glen Carbon and Highland

  • #13 Glen Carbon – Highland

Additional trips to Gateway Commerce Center

  • #5 Tri-City Regional
Kae Petrin covers public transportation and housing as a digital reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.