PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Getting from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way.
Riders offered thoughts to Peoria’ CityLink during public input sessions at Pekin Public Library and East Peoria City Hall on Wednesday. These were the first in-person sessions following two virtual public meetings on Monday.
“We just really want to engage our riders and have them be aware of the changes coming, because we know its going to affect their day-to-day lives. They rely on CityLink and public transit,” said Emily Watson, marketing coordinator at CityLink.
In 2019, CityLink commissioned a study called “CityLink on the Move” to figure out how to best serve the community.
“They evaluated everything – all of our routes, all of our schedules, all of our bus stops – to see what the ridership was, where we could make improvement,” said Watson.
Among the improvements are more frequent in high-ridership neighborhoods and all routes 5-6 p.m., 30-minute weekday service, evening routes reduced from 75 to 60 minutes, and increased service on Sundays. Several routes with low ridership will be eliminated.
In East Peoria, the proposal changes involve getting rid of one route, while adding Sunday service to the other two routes.
“Right now there’s a lot of people who work over in East Peoria but live on the Peoria side of the river. So now they’ll have the opportunity to work on Sundays, or ride the bus instead of having to find another form of transportation,” said Watson.
Ty Livingston, director of planning and community development for East Peoria, said CityLink is essential for the community.
“It helps the city by bringing both folks who come to shop at our stores, as well as people that come to work at our businesses,” he said.
Livingston said the public input sessions are very helpful.
“To hear what sort of feedback they are receiving, understanding all the changes and nuances that go along with that, and how it may impact our residents… Its great to get people back in person again to provide feedback and input,” he said.
Additional one-hour public input sessions are scheduled for November 5 at Tri-County Urban League at 11 a.m. and November 10 at CityLink Transit Center at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Watson encouraged riders who cannot attend the sessions to complete and submit a Rider Survey. The changes will take effect in March 2022.