News Local/State

Rantoul Bus Service Begins November 1

Entrance to the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill.

Entrance to the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill. Wikimedia Commons

A new bus service is expected to start running in Rantoul starting in November.

Rantoul’s only bus service right now is door-to-door service provided on request by Champaign-County Area Rural Transit System, or C-CARTS for short. (C-CARTS is operated by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District to provide transportation for residents outside the district in rural Champaign County.) But now, a federal grant plus matching funds from the village will enable C-CARTS to provide daily service along a fixed route.

Rantoul Economic Development Coordinator Rebecca Motley says the bus service will help workers at businesses in the village’s industrial park. She says employers have told her a lack of public transportation is a factor in employee turnover.

“We want our employers to be successful and grow here,” said Motley. “And they need people to reliably get to work. We do feel like this is a huge feature that we can sell to existing and potential employers, that if you’re looking for reliable workers, we can get them to your door.”

Motley says the new Rantoul bus service will run weekdays from 5 to 8 AM and 3 to 6 PM.  Buses will follow an east-west route connecting the main part of Rantoul with the industrial park on the other side of I-57.

The price of a fare on the new Rantoul bus line has not yet been set. Neither has the name. Motley says a contest to name the bus line has already received about a hundred entries.  Participants are asked to write in their own suggested name, or vote for one of three proposals: the Purple Line, Eagle Express (named for Rantoul Township High School’s colors and mascot) and Rantoul Rides. Votes are being taken online at the village of Rantoul website.