Transit buses will continue to get free housing in Randall former station

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This Google Streetview image shows the former fire station in Bassett where the transit buses now are stored.

A Randall town supervisor’s effort to charge the Western Kenosha County Transit system rent for housing two buses in the former Bassett fire station was narrowly defeated.

The transit system, which provides fixed route and on-call transit services to Western Kenosha County residents six days a week, parks two buses in the otherwise largely unused former fire station adjacent to the Town Hall property. The Randall arrangement works well for the transit system because it allows the buses to be stored in the midst of the service area. If the Randall garage were not available, transit officials have said they likely would need to store the buses at the Kenosha Achievement Center on Sheridan Road in Kenosha, which is about 25 miles from Bassett. The service is run by the county, which contracts with the achievement center for drivers and vehicle maintenance.

At Thursday’s Town Board meeting, Randall Supervisor Bob Gehring proposed charging the transit service to recover utility costs.

“They are better funded than we are,” Gehring said of the transit system, which is almost entirely funded by federal government grants. “We’ve already donated for two years. We’ve done our part.”

But Gehring’s proposal was strongly countered by Supervisor Ken Mangold, who pointed out that charging the service a fee for storage would likely just mean diminished services for area residents to make up the cost or the added travel time if the buses were stored in Kenosha.

“It’s not their service,” Mangold said loudly. “It’s our service, it’s our seniors, it’s our people who can’t drive” who use transit.

Supervisor Mark Halvey said he recently rode the bus and talked to other riders. He found only a few riders when he rode but “to those people it was very important.”

Mangold made a motion to continue to offer rent-free storage to the transit system. The measure passed 3 to 2, with Mangold, Halvey and Chairman Bob Stoll voting in favor and Gehring and Supervisor Rose Nolan voting against.


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