Transportation center to go ahead as planned
DIXON – Dixon may be without a long-distance bus service.
Greyhound Lines dropped the city from its routes last week, and Burlington Trailways worries about picking it up again.
Dixon is one of four locations in northwest Illinois at which Greyhound Lines no longer will be stopping. Service to Dixon, Moline, Rockford and Aurora was discontinued Sept. 7.
“We weren’t seeing a lot of ridership in the area,” spokesman Tim Stokes said Wednesday.
Trailways only had Dixon on its route for about a year, and stopped it because of Greyhound running its route right ahead of it, Vice President Marty Bradley said.
The Lee County Council on Aging’s senior center, 100 W. Second St., had been both lines’ stop, but a new transportation center is in the works.
A $1.2 million Lee-Ogle Transportation System center is planned for an industrial park at Interstate 88 and state Route 26, because Illinois Department of Transportation officials said then it also could serve as a station for the commercial bus companies.
Construction could start as early as this fall, and Greyhound or Trailways will “absolutely not” affect that, said the transportation system’s acting director, Kathy Lalley.
The system is in the process of training for its new central dispatch system that will make scheduling its public buses more efficient.
The system wasn’t counting on any user fees from the companies to run the building, Lalley said. They did receive a commission, though, for selling tickets.
Trailways still has routes that include Rockford and Moline, and Lalley is in talks with the bus line to get Dixon back on the list.
She said she’ll know more next week after a meeting with Trailways.
But Bradley didn’t sound optimistic.
“Right now, we’re concentrating on the college market between Moline and Chicago,” he said. “We’ve talked about picking Dixon back up, but it’s just not feasible for us.
“My concern if we do go back into Dixon is that Greyhound will just run in front of us again.”
Dixon's commercial busing history
– Greyhound Lines had dropped service to Dixon once before, 9 years ago. It started up service again in August 2009.
– Burlington Trailways had started service a couple months earlier, in May 2009, before stopping it in August 2010 because of a lack of customers.