New Wildcat Service bus route expected to begin Wednesday in Marion

The city of Marion in Illinois is partnering with Rides Mass Transit District to offer the Wildcat Service bus route.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 9:53 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - The city of Marion in Illinois is partnering with Rides Mass Transit District to offer the Wildcat Service bus route.

It’s a 10-stop fixed route and a bus would be at each stop once every 30 minutes.

Wildcat Route launches Wednesday, March 1, and will run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the weekends buses will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but some services will be offered later than these times.

Operations Manager with Rides Mass Transit District Jeffrey Drake said they are still offering door-to-door service.

“I do want to stress though, that if a person is unable to access a stop, they can still call our office and get the door to door service,” Drake said. “Cause that’s one thing we do want to stress is that if I can’t get to a stop, but I’m familiar with the process how it has worked previously or I can’t get there for whatever reason, by all means call and schedule your reservation.”

Fares are $1 in town for a fixed route for individuals, but seniors and persons with disabilities could ride for half a fare. Those with the Benefit Access Program eligibility could ride a fixed route at no cost.

“When we’re talking about ADA reliability, we’re talking about the ability to move around town for only $1 every single day--this is really a huge win for our community,” said City of Marion Chief of Staff Cody Moake.

You can download the Rides Mass Transit app, and it will show you in real time where your bus is. You can also pay for fares through the app.

The list of stops includes:

  • Rides Mass Transit District Bill Jung RMTD Park and Ride
  • Lamar Hi-Rise
  • The HUB Recreation Center
  • Sherman Drive
  • Boyton Street Community Center
  • Marion Carnegie Library/Square
  • Butler Hi-Rise
  • Shawnee Village Apartments
  • Marion Kroger
  • Marion Walmart Supercenter

Moake said the city realized how big of a game-changer this could be for the community, for both transportation and employment.

“As a community, we look at ways to help employers get employees and one of the barriers to employment is transportation,” Moake said. “And so finding ways to get folks to their jobs, reliably, is something that we’ve tried to solve for the last couple of years.”

The Essential Jobs/Large Employer route is also being incorporated into RMTD’s existing route that services JALC and Carbondale:

  • Rides Mass Transit District Bill Jung RMTD Park-and-Ride
  • Heartland Regional Medical Center
  • Aisin Manufacturing
  • Meadowland Parkway/Lincoln Village
  • ReaderLink Distribution Center

To arrange door-to-door transportation call 618-993-1900.

For more information, visit the RMTD website.