PRINCETON — The BPART transportation system is making changes to trips inside and outside the Bureau and Putnam County service area and increasing fares effective Oct. 1.
The changes in service are being made due to increased costs of fuel, increased vehicle repairs and increased ridership.
BPART provided more than 75,000 trips from July 1, 2013, to June 30, which was an 18 percent increase in transportation over last year. BPART also provided service to about 1,500 residents from Bureau and Putnam counties.
“BPART has seen significant growth. On average, BPART provides 6,400 trips per month,” said Larry Kerrick, BPART program administrator. “Each provider had to re-evaluate how the entire system works and have to make these changes at this time. We don’t want to face another budget deficit like last fiscal year.”
A single bus will go to Ottawa on Mondays and Peoria on Thursdays at $20 round trip. A rider’s appointment must be scheduled between 9 a.m. and noon or the ride will not be eligible for service.
Service to IVCC students is also seeing a change. Instead of having designated arrival and departure times, the students are to call the main dispatch and schedule their trips to the college. The IVCC rate for students will be $8 for a round trip.
“BPART is a very valuable service, and we need to take these steps to continue to provide the greatest amount of service to the public,” said Jeff Dean, president/CEO of Gateway Services Inc., which acts as the administrator of the BPART system.
One way trips in town will be $2.50, and one way trips in the Bureau and Putnam County service area will be $4. Trips from Spring Valley to LaSalle-Peru/Oglesby will be $4 per one way trip. Trips from Princeton/Putnam to LaSalle-Peru/Oglesby will be $4.50 one way, and from Magnolia to Princeton, LaSalle-Peru/Oglesby will be $4.50.
BPART is a partnership with Gateway Services in Princeton, St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley, the Bureau County Senior Citizen’s Association in Princeton and the Putnam County Achievement Services in Standard. To schedule a ride, a live dispatcher is available from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call BPART at 877-874-8813.
Passengers must contact BPART to schedule a ride at least 24 hours in advance, and by noon the business day before a trip, however the earlier the better, so BPART will be able to accommodate your travel needs. BPART operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.