Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2012

CONTACT:
Guy Tridgell (IDOT) 312.814.4693
Lisa Brown (RMTD)815.961.2226

Transportation Secretary Schneider Cuts Ribbon on New East Side Transit Center in Rockford

Project Consolidates Bus Operations, Adds Rider Amenities
 

ROCKFORD – May 22, 2012. Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider was joined by Mayor Larry Morrissey and other local officials today for the grand opening of the Rockford Mass Transit District’s new East Side Transfer Center. The project, funded in part by $734,382 from Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, created an estimated 100 construction jobs, while providing a convenient transfer point for service between Rockford and Belvidere, as well as a national intercity bus stop along Interstate 90.

“We congratulate the City of Rockford and the Rockford Mass Transit District for building this beautiful new facility that will improve the quality of life for so many area residents,” said Secretary Schneider. “The East Side Transfer Center will not only encourage more people to consider public transportation at a time of rising gas prices, but it will become a resource and an anchor for the community. The multi-use, multi-modal aspects of the facility are exactly the kind of qualities the Illinois Department of Transportation is interested in pursuing throughout the state.”

The $8.06 million project includes bus ticketing counters, baggage storage rooms, eight covered bus bays and ample passenger parking to cut down on harmful emissions from idling vehicles. A large passenger area allows commuters to purchase concessions and view digital route and fair displays. A multipurpose room can be used for various community functions. A police substation also is included in the new building.

The facility draws on Governor Quinn’s directive to expand green transportation practices in Illinois. A pedestrian and biking path is planned to connect the new transfer center to a nearby residential area and an assisted living facility. The water in the rest rooms is heated through solar power.

“The opening of the new East Side facility demonstrates RMTD’s commitment to excellent service throughout our community,” said Mayor Morrissey. “I look forward to continuing to work with our regional partners to support high-quality public transportation options for all of our citizens.”

Among the other Illinois Jobs Now! investments made by Governor Quinn in Rockford include $3 million to develop a new multi-modal station south of downtown, in addition to the $60 million previously allocated for construction of the new Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque passenger rail corridor, and $1 million to expand parking at the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
To ensure the continuation of the state's capital plan and projects like these, which are putting hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents back to work, Governor Quinn has proposed necessary changes to stabilize and restructure the state's pension and Medicaid programs after decades of fiscal mismanagement.

The proposals outline up to $85 billion in savings from changes to the pension system, and $2.7 billion in savings from restructuring Medicaid. Together, these changes will lead to greater certainty in Illinois' business climate and help respond to serious concerns from the ratings' agencies. The billions of dollars saved through these reforms are essential to the state's ability to ensure that critical capital improvement and road safety projects in Illinois are able to move forward. For more information, please visit SaveOurState.Illinois.Gov.

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