For some of us, driving isn’t an option, and the bus doesn’t get us where we need to go. We may use paratransit or a dial-a-ride service or just wish there were a better way to get to work, appointments, and errands.
This study looks to address this and help all of us to access Will County!
Will County wants to make it easier for everyone to get where they need to go. To understand existing services, identify gaps and future needs, and evaluate alternatives for coordination of services, Will County is launching Access Will County, in partnership with Via Strategies and MUSE Community + Design. The first step is the Paratransit Integration and Efficiency Study, which began in May 2022 and will be completed in May 2023.
Through data collection, stakeholder engagement, public involvement, and technical analysis, the study aims to recommend a mobility management structure to better coordinate transportation services, fill geographic, destination, and hours of operation service gaps, and make the system more efficient.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Access Will County Paratransit Integration and Efficiency Study. Community and stakeholder engagement was critical in this assessment of Will County’s patchwork of paratransit, demand-response, and human service agency transportation services.
The Will County Executive Office and the study project team completed the study in June 2023. The study identified several challenges with existing services, including a complicated rider registration process, disjoined eligibility requirements, and different hours of operation, fair policies, and travel rules. Will County has 12 separate dial-a-ride systems, with 18 townships out of 24 covered by at least one system. The study specifically outlined a future need for a more unified system, based on a rising senior population and Will County’s population and employment growth.
The study outlined several short- and long- solutions, including:
- INFORMATION – Improve ways people find and register for dial-a-ride service
- SERVICE QUALITY – Use performance metrics to improve the quality of dial-a-ride service
- SERVICE AREA – Close gaps in coverage to help riders reach more destinations
- ELIGIBILITY – Standardize eligibility requirements Countywide
- SERVICE HOURS – Adding evening and weekend service
- FARES – Launch a unified fare structure and add fare payment options
- CONSOLIDATION (long-term) – Consolidate into a single Countywide service