Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
Rides Mass Transit Breaks Ground on New Office
HARRISBURG -- Rides Mass Transit is building a new office in Harrisburg. Officials broke ground Tuesday morning. The facility is designed to handle the growing need for public transportation in southern Illinois.
Rides serves 18 southern Illinois counties providing affordable transportation to those in need.
"It helps me out because I don't drive," says Brenda Russell.
The Harrisburg resident uses Rides everyday.
"I go shopping, to church, the grocery stores, and I use Rides to go to Marion," said Russell.
The service offers something for everyone. People like Russell get where they need to go and drivers like Eddie Beavers get a satisfying job.
"I like it. I like meeting people," explained Beavers.
Beavers has been behind the wheel at Rides for 13 years he says it's time for a change and the new operation and maintenance center is the answer.
"Rides is growing in Saline County and we have actually grown out of our building now. There's more and more riders coming in," Beavers said.
The new center will go on Frank Leberman Drive. CEO Bill Jung says its construction is expected to create more than 70 jobs and 11 permanent full-time positions.
"It's going to create an opportunity to take that extra service growth and translate it in to jobs," said Jung.
He says the $1.6 million project wouldn't be possible without state and federal grants. It will bring new life to the company and what they can offer residents.
"Transit creates congestion relief in a lot of urban areas but here it is a quality of life issue," explained Jung.
Work will begin on the new center in a few days. The project is expected to take about a year to complete. It's set to open next August.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 58 %