Thursday, May 23, 2019

MCRide may come to Harvard

Harvard residents may soon have additional public transportation options. The Harvard City Council approved an inter-governmental agreement with McHenry County at its Dec. 16 meeting that would extend Dial-a-Ride hours and allow for out-of-town transportation.

Currently, Dial-a-Ride is available in Harvard from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday. Under the proposal, Harvard would become part of the MCRide program. The new hours would be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Further, the service would allow riders to travel to Woodstock, Crystal Lake and McHenry.

Reservation hours will be from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

According to Harvard City Administrator Dave Nelson, the cost for the program for Harvard would be $12,000 to $19,000. The current cost of Dial-a-Ride is $18,000.

“For the dollars that we’re going to spend … we are increasing the service levels dramatically,” Nelson said. “Because of the increase [in service], it’s going to offer opportunities for other folks that may need a ride to the train early in the morning or get home at a certain time or take a trip out of town.

“Right now, we just can’t. Our service is terribly inconvenient even for seniors who are main customers.”

The McHenry County Board will vote to approve an inter-government agreement with Pace to fund the program at its Feb. 2 meeting, according to McHenry County principal transportation planner Scott Henning.

Nelson said they are hoping to implement the program by March.