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Oswego to Continue Park and Ride Through Kendall Area Transit

Metra warns discontinuing the service could hurt the village's chances at a future train stop.

Oswego village trustees voted 4-2 Tuesday night to authorize the execution of contracts for both Park and Ride transportation and Dial-a-Ride services through Kendall Area Transit (KAT).

Previously the village had used Pace Suburban Bus services to offer three round-trip rides to the Aurora Transportation Center from the Oswego Park and Ride on Orchard Road for $106,000 a year, said Village Administrator Steve Jones. The new agreement with KAT will offer five round-trip rides for around $84,000 a year.

Trusteed debated two weeks ago whether the village should just offer Dial-a-Ride services instead of Dial-a-Ride and Park and Ride. Thrown into the debate is Oswego's quest for a Metra stop.

Jones said he met with Metra officials last week and they have announced they are moving forward with phase one of their study for an Oswego stop. The study will be complete in 18 to 24 months, focusing on both preliminary design – like where bridges, platforms might go – to looking at the funding and ridership.

Village President Brian LeClercq said when the village informed Metra that it may discontinue Park and Ride, officials said such a decision would be detrimental to the village's future plans for a train station.

Trustee Terry Michels said that while he understood Metra’s position, “From a financial standpoint [Metra] would not operate a train to a community that was not profitable to them or does not have growth. We’re years off to getting [a train station]. The dollars we’re spending for a select group of individuals to get to a specified destination doesn’t benefit the community as a whole.”

LeClercq disagreed, saying Metra could be used for a variety of purposes, not just getting to work.

“I think [the park and ride] is a precursor to a full-fledged Metra and ties into our strategic plan," he said.

Michels said the Park and Ride services is not real public transportation, as the only destination is the Aurora Train Station.

“How does it benefit someone who wants to get to their doctor on Route 30?” he asked.

Trustee Tony Giles also questioned the amount of ridership as a factor in voting against the plan.

“We’d be spending $84,000 for about 25 Oswego riders per day. Is that really serving the public?" he asked. 

The Park and Ride was originally supported by government grants that allowed for six round trips a day through Pace. When the grants ran out the village dropped rides to three, which LeClercq said may have contributed to the sudden drop in ridership. At its height, about 140 riders per day used the service. 

Trustees Jeff Lawson, Scott Volpe, Gail Johnson and Judy Sollinger all voted yes with Giles and Michels voting no. 

Greg O'Neil September 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM
84,000 / 25 = $3,360 per year subsidy for people getting free rides to the Aurora train station. Its no wonder people have lost faith in government. How low does the number have to get before we drop this nonsense? Two riders, three, will we pay $84,000 to get a single person to the train station five miles from here? Most people who were riding it could not afford to live here with the high taxes and left, so whats the viliage's solution? Spend more taxes on this wasteful debacle and make the situation even worse. Thank you Mr. Michels and Mr. Giles for having some common sense!!! If it takes 25 years to finally get the train here we will have spent over two million dollars to get a few people PART of the way to work. Boy Oswegoan's are a generous lot with their money. I hope it doesn't get any worse than this, this has got to be a low point in Oswego political malpractice. And the village board says they don't know why there is a tax revolt or what we are trying to accomplish. They just answered their own question!!!
Jane Enviere September 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Seems like there has to have been a better use for grant money than to transport a max of 140 people. What a waste.
mike ellison September 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Remember the idiots who voted for this. This is complete nonsense. This is govt pushing for something for which there is no need. They want a train station, for which there is no demand for, and are trying to justify that by paying for the P&R for which there is also no demand for. Oswego is roughly 45 miles from Chicago. Anyone wanting to work or visit there needs to drive their own car. Why don't we just put bus routes and train tracks anywhere that someone needs to go and not worry about the costs. Oops, they're already doing that.
Olivia5307 September 19, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I chose not to have children; thus, I add no students to the public school system. Yet after 4 decades, I am still paying the predominance of my property taxes to educate everyone else's children. In a society, we support each other's needs. At a contract rate of $84,000, that comes to about $2.75 per Oswego resident annually. Is that really too much of a burden? I'm delighted that the Trustees approved further funding. I look forward to a Metra station some day. It's unfortunate and distressing that the Metra unnecessarily moves at a snail's pace. The Park-n-Ride schedule has limitations, so some folks still need to drive downtown for work and recreation until a station is built.
Greg O'Neil September 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Is the fact that someone works near a train station in Chicago the only reason we should chip in for their transportation costs? By Olivia's line of reasoning, I should be getting gas money from everyone in Oswego because it's expensive and I could use the help. My address is in the book, please remit your checks as soon as possible before it hits $5.00 per gallon, I have a need. Some of us have been brainwashed by this ridiculous circular reasoning that we should all pay for the needs (wants) of others. Whats wrong with paying your own way for your own choices (I would include education in that argument as well).
Rachael B. September 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM
It is NOT a free ride from Orchard Rd. to the Aurora train station. Admittedly, it is not expensive, yet the consumer pays $3.50 round trip. The service schedule is very limited to only 3 pick-up times: 5:35 a.m., 6:31 a.m., and 7:15 a.m.
Olivia5307 September 19, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Boy, did you miss the point! It's evident that you are a "Me, Me, Me" person. If you don't benefit personally, you're angry. Following your thinking, I want to know when do I get my rebate for all of the taxes I have paid into the school system over the years to educate other people's children? Did you send your kids to public schools, or did you pay tuition from pre-K through college for them?
Logansdad September 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM
There may not be a lot of riders using the park n ride but if Metra comes to Oswego, more people will use it. There are currently a lot of people who drive to Downtown Aurora that have parking passes who will not give that up until there is a train station in Oswego. You can't judge the park n ride as indicator for the Oswego Metra station.
Logansdad September 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I know Olivia. If something doesn't benefits Greg personally he is against it. You should have seen his posts about what he thought about outsiders coming to live in Oswego when Oswego was growing. The way some people think if you can drive 10 miles for something you don't need something close by. I wonder how these same people would feel if they had to drive 10-20 miles every day to the grocery store or to drop their kids off at school.
Oswegosmarts September 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM
This whole Train station in Oswego is a pipe dream for "Choo Choo Brian" People are going to take the train to work in the city or other suburbs, spend money in the city, or the other burbs and what does that do for Oswego. Oh yeah metra will have to put extra cars on the trains for all the people that want to come to Oswego, for all of the industry jobs that are here, or maybe go shopping at Lowes, or stop and get some pizza at the pizza place that still is not open,( and what a great lease deal we gave him.) Maybe they will come in droves to have a sample of beer at the new brewery, or shop at the new Alexander Lumber complex that didn't happen. So maybe instead of worrying about the train we should worry about making our downtown more attractive like Plainfield, or Naperville and work on our infastructure. Or maybe they will come and Look at our huge Village Hall, or new Huge Fire Station. That's it, people can come to our town as a tourist attraction. Oswego were taxes are high and the town where taxdollars are wasted, just look at our big public buildings. "All Aboard lets go to Oswego, a good example, of a bad example, of mis- managing tax payers money."
Cattlehauler September 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Village Board again voting in favor of the WRONG SIDE of Issue. Make sure you make mental notes of all of these Stupid Decision making members. Only voting these Money Spending Non Revenue Gaining Knuckleheads out will take care of this LONGTIME JOKE of a Village Board........
Cattlehauler September 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Well Put! BINGO, oh wait no longer allowed in oswego......
Jane Enviere September 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Exactly!
Logansdad September 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
So the train station is a pipe dream. I think the only pipe dream is the ones that think downtown Oswego will be like downtown Naperville. If a train station is built is could spur development along the Orchard Road corridor for industry. If that happens people could take the train from the city out to Oswego for work. The Elburn station is the middle of a cornfield and further west than Oswego, but yet it does get a good number of people that use it every day. "Oh yeah metra will have to put extra cars on the trains for all the people that want to come to Oswego," Oh yeah maybe IDOT will have to expand Route 34 to acccomodate all the extra traffic that will come to Oswego one day, maybe Route 71 and Orchard Road will also have to be expanded. Oh wait that is already taking place or has been completed.
Jane Enviere September 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM
@Logansdad -- I am with you on our downtown. It will never be anything like Naperville or Plainfield. We are not going to be a destination downtown area.
Loreta J. September 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Why should we all pay for the needs and wants of others? Because your tax dollars to the schools benefit everyone by educating future doctors, teachers, architects, scientists, etc..everyone benefits from that, even if you don't have kids in the schools. Everyone can benefit from a train station..it gets people to jobs they may not have been able to take otherwise, it opens opportunities for work, for leisure, etc. The notion that people should only pay for what they individually use is crazy.
Greg O'Neil September 20, 2012 at 04:42 PM
If you "choose" to live 50 miles away from where you work, its fine with me, but don't expect everyone to chip in so you can get cheap, taxpayer subsidized transportation while the rest of us have to pay $4.00 a gallon for our transportation!!! We can't afford to pay for yours too!!! Its just plain stupid to pay $3,360 per person to give rides to a train station that 5 miles away. And people wonder why we live in the HIGHEST taxed area in the country, duh! It's already unaffordable to live here as a result. People don't have any more money to give away to the freeloaders who want every amenity under the sun, as long as someone else pays for it.
Loreta J. September 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM
you do not always "choose" to live far from your job. Just as you can't always "choose" to work close to home. Circumstances may force you to take a job that happens to be 50 miles away, if you've lost your job 10 minutes away for example. Freeloading? I don't necessarily think so.
Logansdad September 20, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Greg do you honestly believe what you pay in gas taxes covers the cost to maintain all the roads in which you drive on? So even your transportation to work or where is subsidized.
Illini Fan September 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
We have a great community here! When I need a gift, I run to Marmelade Tree or The Village Grind. My kids only want breakfast at the Oswego Family Restaurant, and we frequent The Tap House. And who can resist doughnuts from My Sister's Lil Donut Shoppe?And Dairy Hut-awesome! I am a dreamer, but I DO think people would come to Oswego if we had more to offer. Our "boardwalk" is beautiful and leads from the river to downtown shops. We have a lot to offer, but we do need more! We need more shops and restaurants. I loved the plan for the old Alexander Lumber. We need visionaries at the village board. We don't have to be Naperville. We can be Oswego.
Illini Fan September 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I almost forgot...The Fox Valley Winery was featured on Food Network! I am not a wine drinker, but my wine-loving -friends get wine here by the case! They love it!
Greg O'Neil September 21, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Motor fuel taxes, property taxes, State and Federal Income taxes. tolls, and sales taxes all find their way to road projects, and yes, I pay them ALL. Where do you think government gets its money from? Nobody is subsidizing my transportation costs one dime!!! I have no problem paying my way, why do you? I have heard estimates of up to one hundred million dollars to extend Metra service to Oswego. There is NO WAY this community will vote to be part of the RTA and pay additional fuel taxes so a handful of commuters can get cheap transportation. There is a station five miles away from Oswego, that should be good enough. Paying $3,360.00 annually per rider to get there is just plain dumb and a waste of resources. i've yet to hear a logical argument for that!!!
Logansdad September 21, 2012 at 06:54 AM
No one is subsidizing your transportation costs? That is wrong George. Here is a link to say otherwise: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/Do-Roads-Pay-Themselves.html A handful of riders would get cheap transportation huh? Metra hasn't done their studies yet but yet you already have concluded only a handful of people would use Metra in Oswego. Why don't you turn over your study information to Metra so you can save Metra some money since somehow you know more than they do. As for people paying taxes toward the RTA, I would bet most people already contribute to the RTA. If you purchase items in neighboring towns, chances are you are paying sales taxes that go toward the RTA. Kane, Will and Dupage are part of the RTA and sales taxes in those towns go to the RTA. Greg are you going to say you never purchase anything outside of Oswego? "There is a station five miles away from Oswego, that should be good enough." Well Greg,Let's use that philosophy for other things. There is a Jewel, Dominick's and Meijer around Rte 59. There is no reason for Oswego to have any of these stores since there are stores within 5 miles of Oswego. The fact is most stores within Oswego are located 5-10 miles of the area so there is no need for you to shop in Oswego at all, Greg. You can drive 5-10 miles for all your needs. I bet you wouldn't though because you'd rather not drive that far.
Jason Chateu October 02, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I live in Plainfield, and I would start riding in Oswego as soon as it opens. Its not just people in Oswego that are looking forward to this.
Steve Jameson November 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Oswego built the PNR with the build it and they will come mentality well they dint realize they were out of the METRA/PACE circle. Builders were also swaying home buyers with this too! this was back in the early to mid 2000's so here we are 6 to 8 years later and METRA/PACE has approved it but Oswego doesn’t have the funding! Kendall county is they were smart enough.. HINT HINT HINT!! Kendall county buys the lot from Oswego, provide funding for the station, and collect revenue off that? No? FYI my wife has been a HEAVY user of the PNR and METRA for 4 years and we would totally welcome the METRA stop. And if they did open it up to Oswego it would be limited trains because of the reduced population that far out? Whatever happened to Montgomery getting one if Oswego does not Ante up soon I think they should jump on this wagon plenty of room for parking off along the line for parking there!

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