Friday, June 20, 2008

Niles, Illinois - Free bus successful

Forward thinking local government in Niles, Illinois has put their population in good position for coming high gasoline prices. Niles is not big, you can do this in your town, too.

from the

...Niles Village Manager George Van Geem said the free bus served more than 100,000 riders in the first four months of 2008 -- a 3-percent increase from last year.

"The free bus started 35 years ago to reduce congestion," he said. "We have three routes and it is (available) about half a mile from virtually every resident in Niles."

...Niles resident Helen Sparkes said she takes the free bus almost every day to get around town and save on gas.

"I go to Golf Mill, the Oak Mill mall, the senior center," she said. "Thank God for it. It would kill my very soul if they stopped running it."

Van Geem said the village had no intention of discontinuing the service.

"Public transportation is answer to this problem," he said, referring to high gas prices and environmental pollution. "It's got to be a good thing to have 100,000 less cars on the road."

The Niles free bus runs continually from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, and from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekends.