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714 College of DuPage

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From the Passenger Notices, it appears that 714, after having been cut back several times, is now slated for a public hearing to get the axe.

Basically, is this an example of a CMAQ (or similar grant) that did not work? Does it indicate that fixed route service doesn't work in that kind of suburban area?

Also, since this is run out of Fox River Division rather than by a contractor, what happens to the workforce? Does Fox have enough open runs, or are layoffs on the way?

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From the Passenger Notices, it appears that 714, after having been cut back several times, is now slated for a public hearing to get the axe.

Basically, is this an example of a CMAQ (or similar grant) that did not work? Does it indicate that fixed route service doesn't work in that kind of suburban area?

Also, since this is run out of Fox River Division rather than by a contractor, what happens to the workforce? Does Fox have enough open runs, or are layoffs on the way?

I understood when it cut service from 9/10P to 6, because aside from the three or four people (including me) that needed to get to the Metra. It never really generated much service in the last year, but to me (when I went to COD for summer school), was really a godsend. Maybe there will be support from the college crowd to at least save some of that service.

(Of course, there's always the 715)

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What are the land use and income levels like in the area that this bus route serves?

Some of the Twin Cities area suburban bus routes that got JARC grants are being eliminated in September.

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The route covers Wheaton and Naperville, with somewhat fluctuating income levels.

Some places are more affluent than others, although the objective when the route was established was to get people to head to school because COD is a very good gen eds/associates/ technical college.

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What are the land use and income levels like in the area that this bus route serves?

Some of the Twin Cities area suburban bus routes that got JARC grants are being eliminated in September.

Basically, the sprawling suburbs. Up to now, they only supported Metra feeder service, although there are a few fixed routes in DuPage County (711, 715, and 747).

Naperville is fourth in population among Illinois cities according to this list, but it could not even support a local circulator, but has about 20 feeder routes. It appears that a city subsidy is needed to keep any bus service there, and it is limited to ElDorados (so are 711 and 715). Route 530 (also run with ElDos) connects Naperville with neighboring Aurora, which does have a fixed route system, and is typical of our exurbia (an older city with a transit hub, and primarily Hispanic population, not much different from Joliet, Elgin, or Waukegan).

Wheaton is the county seat, and home of Wheaton College, but the courthouse is a couple of miles west of town. There used to be a 712 Shuttle (an Eldo or a school bus), but that route was incorporated into 747. 747 relies on a CMAQ grant west of Wheaton. Most of the Wheaton feeder service was cut in the 2008 restructuring.

For community profiles you can look here for Naperville and Wheaton. COD is in Glen Ellyn (but sort of on the outskirts), also profiled.

DuPage County has Ride DuPage, which is a community service, eligibility for which depends on the sponsoring subagency (i.e., it might be seniors and disabled in one city, or a workforce agency based on income).

There were proposed several ICE grants to the municipalities for circulator services, but nothing heard about that recently.

The real answer is that this is automobile and Metra territory, but basically not bus.

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Here is an article from The Wheaton Sun on the outcome of the public hearing.

Not necessarily the outcome, but the gist of the comments. From that I think that there is a 50/50 chance that either it gets killed, or goes to once an hour during the rush, and maybe once every two hours midday.

I had also seen in the meeting agenda that there was an item about a public hearing on the TMA, and finally the announcement came up that the 580s have run through their grants, and thus that is the end of the North Central study routes.

So, by my count that's 10 buses that don't have to be replaced, between the two hearing notices.

Which gets one to thinking...even if 655/755/899 get off the ground, they won't generate ridership immediately, and if they don't get ridership up to standard by when whatever funding they have runs out, and Pace has diverted its 2009 capital to OTRs....

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I had also seen in the meeting agenda that there was an item about a public hearing on the TMA, and finally the announcement came up that the 580s have run through their grants, and thus that is the end of the North Central study routes.

So, by my count that's 10 buses that don't have to be replaced, between the two hearing notices.

It wouldn't shock me if they kept those routes.

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It wouldn't shock me if they kept those routes.

It is more likely that Pace will say that Metra station vanpools are available.

Also, at least in the case of 582, the question is how many are using the North Central Service that couldn't use the MDN (i.e. could transfer at Prairie Crossing, vs. getting on at Franklin Park or Schiller Park to go to Riverwoods). Since it appears that the TMA members "pay the fares" instead of fully subsidize the bus, it doesn't look like they are stepping up to fill the void of the expiring federal grant.

On further reflection: On existing routes, Pace has the numbers--not only the fares mentioned by the woman in the Wheaton Sun article, but also how many free fare and half fare cards were read, and when and where the laser beam across the front door was broken. On the other hand, most of the people who go to the meeting are there to complain that they will lose service, and of course, those anecdotes are what a community paper will primarily report. While, in my experience, Pace hearings are not predetermined, it will take a lot to overcome the numbers. Hence, I am raising the odds in the 714 situation to 70% killed, 30% cut back by half.

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Not necessarily the outcome, but the gist of the comments. From that I think that there is a 50/50 chance that either it gets killed, or goes to once an hour during the rush, and maybe once every two hours midday.

I had also seen in the meeting agenda that there was an item about a public hearing on the TMA, and finally the announcement came up that the 580s have run through their grants, and thus that is the end of the North Central study routes.

Is there any way to get a copy of that agenda? I searched Pace's site but didn't find anything.

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Is there any way to get a copy of that agenda? I searched Pace's site but didn't find anything.

The Calendar of Events says that
The Meeting Agenda will be provided here two days before the meeting.
It appears that I even copied the embedded link from that page.*

Of course, in this case, the result of that agenda item has already been posted.

__________________

*It appears that if one sets one's settings to the RTF editor, you can paste formatted text, including links, and not just plain text, into it.

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Here is a news video from "Naperville News" via YouTube.

In the video they say a decision on #714's future will be made September 2.

Of course, that is the date for the next board meeting.

Although (extrapolated from the video) there weren't very many passengers on the bus,the hearing seemed well attended. I might change my odds to 60/40. But it may take DuPage County throwing more money in to save it.

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OK, I took the bus today to COD and while awaiting for my bus (715) to come at COD, 2 buses for 714 came (one going to Naperville, the other to Wheaton). After seeing 20 people get on the Naperville route and 12 people getting on to Wheaton (yes I counted), I am completely baffled as to why this route is in trouble. Was Pace expecting filled to capacity plus people standing up when it first started because both buses were jammed packed when they left. Without the COD students, 714 doesn't exist. I surely hope there were a lot of students at the public hearing because based on what I saw today around 1pm, I can't see this route being eliminated. It would cripple them. Finding parking on campus is a joke so a lot of students ride. I'm not sure if Pace took into consideration that enrollment is up 7.7 according to this article below, meaning more people are getting on the bus now as opposed to before the public hearing.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=315316

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The justification stated by Pace was that the route was attracting about 300 rides a day and that didn't make standards. However, given that there was no indication in the September Meeting agenda of this item, and no Passenger Notice or other notification yet, I have the feeling that Pace is (1) looking for more money from DuPage County, and (2) may save some runs. Of course, the Passenger Notice could be posted tomorrow, October 15th, later, or never. Considering that the Press Release says that "The proposal calls for elimination to take place in mid- to late October. The precise date of proposed elimination will be announced at the hearing," we'll probably find out about then.

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It also states 300 rides/day thru the 1st half of 2009. I gotta believe that number is up now and the increase in students at COD is undoubtably the reason why. During the summer months, sure ridership is down because fewer students are in session. I have a feeling that Pace and Dupage County are gonna do whatever it takes to keep that route. I totally understand cutting the Edward Hospital portion of the route, it wasn't needed with the 530. But I'd have to think during rush hour, all the other Naperville and Wheaton feeder routes can get busy with students w/o cars going to COD. I think they should leave the route as is during the fall/spring semesters and maybe cut some runs during breaks.

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Here's an article from the Daily Herald as of 9/10/09 stating the status of where route 714 is at:

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/print/?id=320180

It appears what happens to this route falls in the hands of the City of Wheaton.

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The Passenger Notice that the 580s were terminated is up, effective November 20.

Siince North got 4 buses to start the service (6600 to 6603) I suppose that is 4 fewer buses it now needs to replace.

No similar word on 714. I presume they are still trying to get DuPage and the cities to contribute.

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The Passenger Notice that the 580s were terminated is up, effective November 20.

Siince North got 4 buses to start the service (6600 to 6603) I suppose that is 4 fewer buses it now needs to replace.

No similar word on 714. I presume they are still trying to get DuPage and the cities to contribute.

It also says that passengers can look at routes 272 & 626 as alternates. But isn't the 626 on the chopping block for service reductions? I don't believe the route is gonna be cut, just reduced. So if that's the case, that could mean more north buses available.

I think the 714 will be safe, for now unless something happens with Dupage and the surrounding cities that they don't come through.

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It also says that passengers can look at routes 272 & 626 as alternates. But isn't the 626 on the chopping block for service reductions? I don't believe the route is gonna be cut, just reduced....

Looking at the 581 map, everything there is covered by 272 or 626, both of which stop at the Buffalo Grove Metra station or within a couple of blocks of it, so the only issue is buying a Link-Up Pass.

Given that page 114 of the 2010 budget indicates no passenger impact from reducing 626, apparently they are reducing frequency without an impact on service.

The other two routes don't have a direct analogue to the stop at the station, but I suppose the issue is how many people were going from, say, Antioch to Riverwoods, and if a Metra van pool will take care of them.

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3 more shuttle bugs gone. How long before the rest of them disappear?

To put this on a more reasonable plane (perhaps), the only CMAQs that Pace has had for the past 15 years or so that survived past the grant periods [at least as far as I know] are 631-635 and 272. Remember the reason for North Central corridor routes biting it and 714 at least being put out to hearing was that the grants ran out and those routes didn't generate the ridership needed to meet service standards.

The oxymoronic nature of Pace CMAQ projects can best be typified by 636, which I saw running with about 3 passengers and belching black smoke, stuck on the Tollway.

Thus, for those of you that said one must give credit for Pace finally coming through with 655, 755, and 889, remember that Pace pointed out that the money came from ICE and federal grants that couldn't be used for anything else. I'm not making predictions, but one should wait about 3 years until those grants run out to see if they generate sufficient ridership to meet the recovery ratio.

And as for stuff going to disappear, consider, for instance, all the South Division feeders. You could also put Colonial's stuff and the 676 reverse feeder to Warrenville into that pot, and those are contract operated routes. I rest on what Pace posted for hearings as opposed to what some want to see discontinued, and, until proven otherwise, that the cuts are based on lack of ridership.

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To put this on a more reasonable plane (perhaps), the only CMAQs that Pace has had for the past 15 years or so that survived past the grant periods [at least as far as I know] are 631-635 and 272. Remember the reason for North Central corridor routes biting it and 714 at least being put out to hearing was that the grants ran out and those routes didn't generate the ridership needed to meet service standards.

The oxymoronic nature of Pace CMAQ projects can best be typified by 636, which I saw running with about 3 passengers and belching black smoke, stuck on the Tollway.

Thus, for those of you that said one must give credit for Pace finally coming through with 655, 755, and 889, remember that Pace pointed out that the money came from ICE and federal grants that couldn't be used for anything else. I'm not making predictions, but one should wait about 3 years until those grants run out to see if they generate sufficient ridership to meet the recovery ratio.

And as for stuff going to disappear, consider, for instance, all the South Division feeders. You could also put Colonial's stuff and the 676 reverse feeder to Warrenville into that pot, and those are contract operated routes. I rest on what Pace posted for hearings as opposed to what some want to see discontinued, and, until proven otherwise, that the cuts are based on lack of ridership.

This just goes to show how bad the economy is. Now this is my theory, don't know how true it is. But with so many jobs on the chopping block within these companies that the shuttle bug buses serve, demand has gone down and it will continue to go down as long as layoffs continue. There are so many layoffs that never gets headlines until the unemployment numbers come out. Then you got other companies moving (i.e. United moving to downtown from Elk Grove Village) so that affects routes. And those that still have jobs are content to drive, especially with gas prices not nearly as high as they were before. I know Pace is trying hard to generate ridership, I just simply don't see it right now until the economy gets back up in a few years. If there truly is a need for public transportation and it's simply for people to get back/forth to Metra, then Pace really needs to promote the vanpools harder than they are.

In regards to 714, if they are not generating enough ridership, I'm curious to know what is their criteria as to the number of people paying to truly say ridership is sufficient. Because like I said before, if it's simply COD students, there's enough interest to keep the route. But once Christmas break rolls around, you'll be lucky to see even 50 people on the route for an entire day.

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