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Get those quarters ready

New vehicle lets Morris restore Senior Bus service

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(Christina Chapman-Van Yperen - cchapman@shawmedia.com)
The new Morris Senior Van has a ramp which enables easier access for wheelchairs.
Caption
(Christina Chapman-Van Yperen - cchapman@shawmedia.com)
Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick on Tuesday points out some of the additional features in the vehicle purchased by the city in order to renew the Morris Senior Bus service.

The Morris Senior Bus is back on the road again.

For a week now, city senior citizens have been able to utilize the van again after a couple of months without the service as the city worked to purchase a new van. The van is used to transport senior citizens who call for it. They are charged 25 cents a ride.

“It’s a nice addition for the city,” Mayor Richard Kopczick said.

The Morris City Council approved the purchase of a new van earlier this summer for $34,500. It is sponsored in part by the Morris Kiwanis Club.

The previous van broke down and could not be saved. That vehicle had been purchased through a state grant in the early 1990s. The city looked at trying to obtain another grant for a new bus, but the timing did not work out. However, the city was able to find another van to purchase rather than waiting.

The new van holds 15 passengers and has about 50,000 miles. It is lower in height and has a ramp so it does not require the use of a lift for those with wheelchairs.

The ramp folds out so passengers can walk or wheelchairs can be pushed right up it.

“They will be able to come in and out of the bus a lot easier, “ Kopczick said.

It can fit one wheelchair at a time. The city Public Works Department received new straps to strap in the wheelchairs Tuesday and will begin being able to take wheelchair riders Friday, Director Jim Gretencord said.

The van cannot accommodate electric scooters.

The new van does have less storage, therefore the city has to ask riders to limit their bags to three, he said, which includes other items, such as cases of pop, from the grocery store.

This has made some riders upset, but others are very pleased with the new van, he said.

Many Saratoga Tower residents rely on the Morris Senior Van, said Brent Newman, Grundy County Housing Authority CEO, and they are very grateful to the city for the service and purchasing the vehicle.

“It’s a service that is not just for our residents, but for residents all around Morris,” he said.

The bus runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is available to Morris residents within the city’s corporate limits.

For a ride or for more information, call 815-942-5063.

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