Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.

Transportation program loses another agency

Change won’t affect services, officials say

DIXON – A second agency has pulled out of the Lee-Ogle Transportation System, saying it could no longer deal with delayed payments from the state.

The Hub City Senior Center in Rochelle withdrew effective Jan. 1, nearly 4 months after the departure of Rock River Center of Oregon.

Officials said the change would not affect services to Ogle County residents. The system, known as LOTS, gets funds from the state Department of Transportation to serve Lee and Ogle counties.

Under the program, people who are 60 and older or disabled get free rides; others pay a small fee.

LOTS has two remaining transportation providers – Kreider Services and Lee County Council on Aging. They include Ogle County in their service area.

“We station vehicles in Rochelle and continue as normal,” said Jaime Blatti, the system’s executive director. “It won’t change public transportation at all. We still provide service to all residents of Lee and Ogle counties.”

The state Department of Transportation encourages transportation agencies to move toward having one provider, rather than several, because of greater efficiency, Blatti said.

“As we get busier and busier, the financial constraints on smaller providers are difficult,” she said. “We’re in the third quarter of our fiscal year, and we still haven’t been reimbursed for our first quarter. Smaller agencies have to look for other sources of income and lines of credit.”

Connie Dougherty, Hub City director, confirmed the payment delay had led to her agency’s decision.

“It was creating a cash flow issue for us every quarter,” she said. “We don’t have much of a reserve.

“We are still working closely with LOTS, making sure everyone gets transported in Ogle County. It looks like it has been pretty seamless for the general public. Some of our people have gone to work for LOTS.”

Hub City still is providing a limited transportation service for seniors, Dougherty said.

On Sept. 4, Rock River Center, which serves seniors, left LOTS.

“My board says we can’t afford to carry these deficits any longer,” Karen Copeland, Rock River’s executive director, said at the time. “It was a tough decision to make.”

Rock River, too, continued to provide a limited service.

Loading more