Illinois Has One Of The Worst Cities For Public Transit in the U.S.
Is public transportation in Rockford, Illinois a well-oiled machine or a clunky old jalopy? According to recent rankings, it seems to lean more toward the latter. Brace yourselves, Rockfordians, because your city has just been crowned with the prestigious title of having one of the worst public transit in the entire United States. Congratulations?
A Pandemic Punch to Public Transit
The COVID-19 pandemic hit public transit systems straight in the money maker across the country, and Rockford was no exception. With businesses closed and people working from home, public transit ridership plummeted to historic lows.
But as the nation recovers and returns to a semblance of normalcy, public transportation is slowly bouncing back. Well, except in Rockford.
Government Gas Money
In response to the dire situation faced by public transit agencies, Congress provided emergency funding to keep them afloat. However, even with this much-needed financial support, Rockford's public transit system couldn't seem to catch a break.
While federal funding nearly doubled and then ballooned again, other sources of funding dwindled, including revenue from fares, advertising, and concessions. It's as if Rockford's public transit system got lost in a financial Bermuda Triangle.
When it comes to accessibility, Rockford scores a perfect 100%. But let's not get too excited just yet. Having all stations ADA accessible is definitely a step in the right direction, but if there are hardly any passengers using the system, it's like having a mansion with no one to appreciate it. It's like throwing a party and realizing you forgot to invite anyone. Oops!
Rockford's Transit: Electric Boogaloo
If you were hoping for a greener public transit system in Rockford, well, you might want to sit down for this one. The share of passenger miles traveled using electric power in Rockford? Drumroll, please... 0.0%! That's right, zero. Zilch. Nada. It seems like Rockford missed the memo on the electric vehicle revolution. Maybe they're waiting for the invention of the flux capacitor-powered buses.
Where does Rockford, Illinois rank for public transit in the US?
While some cities boast reliable and efficient public transit systems, Rockford, Illinois, unfortunately, falls into a different category altogether. The Rockford Metro Has the 9th Worst Public Transit in the U.S., according to Hire A Helper.
With dismal ridership numbers, a lack of electric-powered options, and an overall composite score of 22.4 out of 100, Rockford's public transit system has a long way to go before it can compete with the big players. So, if you're ever in Rockford and need to get around, it might be wise to bring your running shoes or invest in a reliable Pogo stick.
To determine the locations with the best public transportation, researchers ranked metros according to a composite score based on the following factors and weights:
- Annual public transit trips per resident (25%)
- Share of workers who commute by public transit (20%)
- Average commute time difference (public transit versus private) (15%)
- Share of passenger miles traveled using electric power (15%)
- Mechanical failures (breakdowns) per passenger mile (10%)
- Share of stations that are ADA accessible (10%)
- Safety and security incidents per passenger mile (5%)
You can see all the numbers and rankings here.