Transportation Investment Advisory Task Force Meeting #1

 

 

September 9, 2015

Attendees:  Jeff Fiegenschuh (chair), Rebecca Motley, Steve Wennerholt, Rita Morocoima-Black, Michelle Ramage, Joe Siedenburg, Staci Wahls, Wednesday Medlen, Tony Worthington, Mike Springer, Drew Bargmann, Bryan Smith, and Erik Kotewa.  Lee McMahon (recording secretary)

 

Public Present:  none

 

Topics discussed:

1.       Introduction to Rantoul Tomorrow and how transportation is a vital link

2.       Key priorities/initiatives of Committee

3.       Transportation needs of Village residents and of companies in Village for employees

4.       Various ideas of transportation

 

 

 

Jeff had everyone go around table and introduce themselves.  He thanked everyone for participating and then explained briefly the purpose of this committee.  Meetings are to be held once a month to start, 2nd Wednesday, and planned to keep them to an hour.  Due to some schedule conflicts, asked that meetings be held at 4.

 

This committee is just a part of a bigger group called Rantoul Tomorrow.  Flowchart shows how the various groups, housing, transportation, etc all can and need to work together to make a better Rantoul.  This committee will come up with some ideas how transportation issues may be resolved or just ideas how to make better.  This committee will then report to the larger group.  This is a transparent, open process.  Anyone can attend meetings and know what was discussed at the meetings.

 

This committee is made up of various groups - Large company’s HR people, small company representatives, MTD bus service, and representatives from city schools and RTHS. Looking to get different perspectives on Rantoul’s transportation issues and needs.

 

The larger company’s represented, Conair, BRG and Rantoul Foods, all agreed transportation is a huge reason they cannot get enough employees that they need. Some people share rides so if their ride doesn’t go to work, than they don’t either.  Huge turnover in employees. They all felt that if there was reliable, affordable transportation it would help their demand for workers.  They are talking about here in Rantoul as well as getting workers from surrounding towns.

 

Some issues with trying to have some sort of transportation system are the varying start time for jobs, weekend shifts, and number of people using service.

 

Some discussion with how to use the MTD bus service to transport students to schools in Champaign.  How could it work for picking up riders for work in Rantoul or in Champaign and then taking/picking up students?  Buses aren’t full and lots of expense when going to the same places.  Schools have been working together more than ever before on many issues. 

 

Many ideas were discussed for transportation:

·         Credit Union Plus offers a Ride to Work program. If you can show steady work for 2 years and a decent credit score, you are qualified for a 100% car loan.

·         C-Cart, this is available now but by appointment only.  Has to be 48 hour notice.  Good idea and affordable, scheduling ahead can be difficult sometimes.  Looking at more of a fixed route.  Have to be aware of PR issues with buses running around town.

·         Ride share arrangement.  Employee would drive a 10 person van (supplied by company or some sort of arrangement) and pick up employees.  This would give employee transportation but then concerns would be if person driving van leaves early, what if rider needs to leave early, liability? MTD could also play a part of this with driver training, grants, tax incentives.  Lots to think about with this and look into.

·         Better taxi service.  More reliable and cleaner!!

·         Some sort of fixed route van/bus service.

·         Company supplies the transportation

 

MTD was given descriptions of busing that the schools do and going to see if they can come up with a plan to combine those trips.  They were very helpful and enthusiastic in their ability to help with transportation needs.

 

Lack of transportation and how it affects companies in Village is a huge concern.  Why would any company want to come into town if there is already an employee shortage?

 

Next meeting scheduled for Oct 14 at 4:00 pm Conference room of Village building.