$1.8 Million Federal Grant Awarded to Enhance Transit Access in Southern Illinois: Rep. Friess Comments

Red Bud, IL…The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) proudly announced that it has been awarded $1.8 million by the Federal Transit Administration to initiate a pilot program aimed at improving access to public transportation in Southern Illinois. This program will specifically benefit individuals with disabilities, older adults, and low-income residents.

The funding, provided through the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Pilot Program, will facilitate the integration of trip scheduling and fare collection across 20 counties. The initiative will involve Shawnee Mass Transit District, Rides Mass Transit District, South Central Mass Transit, and Monroe Randolph Transit District.

“This grant represents a significant step forward in enhancing our transit systems to better serve our communities,” said Rep. Friess. “Ensuring that our public transportation is accessible and efficient for everyone, especially our most vulnerable populations, is a top priority.”

The pilot program, led by IDOT, looks to streamline the connections among the four transit providers, making it easier for riders to navigate beyond the boundaries of individual transit districts. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate fare collection and improve the coordination of public funding for transit across the region, thereby alleviating the burden on riders regarding fare arrangements and payments.

“Public transportation is a vital lifeline for many residents, providing access to healthcare, employment, and essential services,” added Friess. “This initiative will not only enhance mobility but also improve the quality of life for countless individuals in Southern Illinois.”

This project is made possible by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, supporting organizations that coordinate public transportation for underserved groups. By fostering partnerships among health, transportation, and human services providers, the program will help ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities and services they need.