If you were (or wanted to be) “car-free”, how would YOU get around Round Lake Beach? Whether without a vehicle due to ethics or the economy…could you do so safely?
Think of those who HAVE to be car-free, including our children, and many of our seniors. Can they get to their local schools, parks, stores… on their own, or do they HAVE to be chaufeurred?
One increasingly asked-for attribute of prospective neighborhoods by home buyers these days is “connectedness”, being able to live near at least some of the amenities in the community AND to be able to safely walk/bike to them. In the convoluted world of sprawl-based design, the neighbor sharing your backyard fence could literally be miles away, as this recently-publicized example in Florida shows:
So how CAN we get from one side of RLB to the other, or from RLB to a neighboring village? Have you tried the bus? We have a great option about which you may be unaware: PACE offers the “Round Lake Area Call-n-Ride” Service!
It’s a bit unconventional in that it doesn’t adhere to a rigid schedule of times and places. That said, if you can step out of your transit “comfort zone” and give this a try, you may discover that it’s a great fit, even if only occasionally.
This is a reservation-based, shared-ride service for the general public that picks up and delivers passengers at requested locations within a generous service area (view the Brochure [.pdf] to view the entire area). Coverage includes three Metra stations, plus the College of Lake County, which is a transfer point to two Pace Bus Routes (570 and 572). Trips are $1.75 each way, transfers are free (upon request), and a variety of existing PACE / Metra / CTA Fare Cards & Passes are accepted.
Given the size of our village, (and the relationship with the other RL area villages), PACE recognized the need to extend service to our residents. Unfortunately, without a recognizable “downtown” or village center, we don’t even have a regular bus stop at the RLB Metra Station, the sprawl-based “Civic Campus” (Village Hall / Post Office / Cultural Center / Sports Center), or the even-sprawlier “Central Business District”. There’s just no THERE there!
If your schedule allows a little flexibility, give this a try some time. Maybe a family “Field Trip” or an inexpensive learning adventure with the kids. Heck, if they learn about it and can gain some independence, maybe they’ll stop asking you to drive them everyplace!
This bus system serves our villages well, and we can “get the hang of it” at our own pace. However, it is very off-putting though to guests and visitors, those we hope to draw to the village and visit our businesses. Imagine the disconnectedness of stepping off the Metra at the RLB Station, and discovering that you are effectively stranded. No established taxi stand there, no regular bus service AT ALL. They shouldn’t HAVE to know to call an hour in advance to reserve a bus!