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      Rural transportation debated in Adams County

      A rural public transportation system could be coming to Adams County.

      The Adams County Board has approved a resolution to begin the process of starting a county wide system.

      Adams County is one of only two counties in West Central Illinois that does not have a rural transit system in place.

      Howard Kirchner is the director of the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials. He's starting the process of looking over a preliminary transit plan for Adams County. Kirchner said Two Rivers, along the United Way of Adams County and the Rural Transit Assistance Center want to see if a public rural transit system for Adams County is wanted or is needed.

      "We want input from a lot of stakeholders, we want input from potential users of the service to manufactures, social service agencies, business people in the area," Kirchner said.

      Some counties in West Central Illinois already offer a rural transportation system. Adams and Schuyler are the only two counties out of the six that don't offer a service. There isn't an initial plan on the books just yet, but there has been discussion to offer town to town service as well as door to door service. Earl Bricker is with the United Way and he said their role in the process is to facilitate the discussion and identity possible needs.

      "This certainly is relevant to our focuses on health, education and income no question about it. We've done a number of assessments in the past that so far have always have said that transportation is an issue, it is a problem and it's something we need to resolve," Bricker said.

      Kirchner also said there is state and federal grant money available and a fee for service option could also be considered. If the plan does get off the ground, it could be two to three years before any system would be up and running.

      A meeting to discuss the transit system is planned for September 11th at the United Way office in Quincy from 3 until 5 p.m.

      Anyone who wants to express an opinion on the proposal is encouraged to attend.