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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. 

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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