Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Central Illinois Public Transit is looking to raise its ridership in Shelby County.
The public transportation system has grown during its 13 years in the county, offering rides to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, shopping centers, and to and from work. But it is not only for seniors or those with mobility issues.
“We want to make sure people have transportation where they need to go,” said Dennis Shiley, director of CIPT program.
CIPT is managed through CEFS, but riders do not have to be CEFS clients. Routes include Shelby, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie, Douglas, Effingham, and Clay counties with 37 vehicles in operation.
“We have recently received approval for two more 26-passsenger buses,” Shiley said.
The system requires at least a 24-hour notice for rides, although same-day ridership may be available mid-day. Buses and minivans are wheelchair accessible.
“Many of our standing orders are for work related and medical transport. We work with doctors’ offices to help with transportation for their patients,” Shiley said. “And we make sure that wherever we take someone, that they have a way back home.”
With a local facility in Shelbyville, CIPT can offer a rides most any time of the day.
“We have a lot of time in Shelbyville that we can be picking people up and taking them to Walmart and the grocery store. We can help save people money in gas and wear and tear on the vehicle,” Shiley said. “We’ve got a bunch of great drivers here who are concerned for the customers.”
Fees for riding are $2 per trip for adults; $1 for children ages 6-12; and children ages birth - 5 years ride free with paying adult. Seniors may ride at no charge, but donations are accepted. Multi-ride passes are also available for those who are frequent riders.
“We also contract with companies to provide work route transportation,” Shiley said.
CIPT program is funded through grants which has provided for facilities, maintenance, as well as purchase of vehicles.
To schedule a ride, riders will have to register with the dispatcher.
“Sometimes it takes a little patience to get set up with the information and to understand how we operate,” Shiley said.
“We’ve been doing good here in Shelby County, but we can do better,” Shiley noted. “There is opportunity to go to the grocery store or Walmart for anybody. You don’t have to be a senior or handicapped.”
To schedule a ride, call 1-855-755-2478 (CIPT)