FREEPORT (WIFR) – On Facebook a few of you asked about the lack of public transportation in Freeport. The Pretzel City had planned to expand its current system to the rural parts of Stephenson County by the end of this month, but now there’s a big delay. Now, some residents will have to wait a bit longer before they can catch a ride.
It will be months before residents in rural areas of Stephenson County can catch a ride on the Pretzel City transit, or any other bus. Plans to expand Freeport’s transportation system are on hold. City administrators hoped to launch a new system this month, but community development director Shelley Griswold says they have to get the green light from the state first.
“We sent our draft, our request for proposals to IDOT a number of months ago and it’s still in their review process. So until we get approval from IDOT we can’t move forward with the next step,” said Griswold.
The next step would allow the city to look for transit companies to put more buses on the streets. Pretzel City is the only form of public transportation in Stephenson County. It doesn’t have scheduled bus routes either. Instead, residents must call to schedule a ride, a service limited to Freeport residents. Griswold wants to eventually include people in rural areas.
“It would also have the possibility of taking people outside the county for medical appointments, those types of things if they needed some type of specialty care. “
Right now, Freeport’s Pretzel City Transit has nine buses. A few local providers are looking to provide buses for the expanded system. We’re told if they expanded service to rural areas, they will have more than enough buses to accommodate those residents.
Even with the delay, Freeport is looking ahead and hopes to eventually launch a fixed route system, possibly as soon as next year.
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