WESTERN KENOSHA COUNTY TRANSIT

TRIP REPORT FROM JULY 19, 2011

A few years ago, while surfing the web, I accidentally stumbled upon a web site for a Western Kenosha County Transit system. I had previously been unaware that such a system existed. Routes 1 and 2 extend from Southport Plaza in Kenosha (connections with Kenosha Transit) as far west as Lake Geneva. With route 3 dropping down to Antioch. Service is typically every 1-3 hours, and the link is:

Western Kenosha County Transit

I decided to check out this system. I rode the 7:10 am Metra train to Antioch. There was nothing posted at the Antioch station about the bus, and the route map on the web site suggested that the bus only followed main roads, including Hwy. 83. So I walked by Hwy. 83 near the Antioch Public Library. There were no traffic lights near there, so I still wasn't sure about a bus stop. So I called the number on the map which I had downloaded. I told the operator that I had gotten off the Metra train. And the operator then got on the radio to tell the driver to pick me up at the station. The web site mentioned nothing about whether bus stops were posted. And it becomes a gray area when I'm trying to catch a bus across a state line. Especially when the home area bus system (Pace) has no bus routes of its own, stopping at the Antioch station. Walking back to the station, I noticed a "No Parking/Bus Stop" sign. Which for all I know, could have dated back to the short lived supplemental bus route 961.

At 9:30 am, just when the operator promised, a paratransit van showed up on route 3. I counted 7 seats, plus room for a wheelchair. The fare was $2, including a transfer. No farebox, money handed directly to the driver. The driver filled out a transfer card, writing his initials and the date.

We passed the Antioch Super Wal-Mart, and the Bristol Town Hall where there was a bus stop sign. At 10:00 am, I transferred at the Paddock Lake Village Plaza to route 1. This van had 14 seats plus wheelchair space.

I intended to go westbound, and I could have waited until 11:00 for the westbound run. But the route 3 driver had suggested that I make the direct connection to the eastbound run, and ride around towards Kenosha continuing west. Routes are not always strictly followed, except at time points, and where the is a route deviation request. And the route map is not exactly clear. I'm glad I had called, the web site does not make it clear, this route deviation nature.

West of Paddock Lake is Silver Lake, where the bus makes a posted stop by the Town Hall.

At 11:30 am, I made it to the Aurora Medical Center in Twin Lakes. There I transferred to route 2, with another 14 seat van, which would take me through Lake Geneva. Shortly after boarding, a young woman introduced herself to me as a marketing intern from the transit system, and wanted to ask a few questions. I admitted to being a transit geek, and an "abnormal" statistic. But she appreciated my suggestion, that the route deviation nature be make clearer. I rode the loop through Lake Geneva, which looked very resorty. If it weren't for me, just the driver and the intern would have been on board through Lake Geneva. Ridership was never more than 4 passengers at any one time.

Back at Aurora Medical Center, I got back on route 1, which I rode to Southport Plaza. And a Kenosha Transit bus took me to near the North Shore right of way, which I walked to Zion. And then basically, Metra home.