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About Go West

Bus by Lake Ruth

Mission Statement

Go West Transit is in operation to provide quality fixed route public transportation services that enhance and improve quality of life for all people in Macomb.

Our primary purpose is to transport citizens from their residences to areas of high public demand in Macomb. Our routes are designed with the general public in mind, but we pay special attention to the following groups:

  • Senior Citizens
  • Public Housing
  • Families with unmet transportation needs
  • Primary and Secondary school students
  • WIU students

The History of Go West

May 1998

Western Illinois University students vote overwhelmingly (78%) to assess a fee on themselves for the purpose of providing a bus system.

February 1999

Red Route 1 starts service in a snowstorm. 1200 riders ride in the first day. Go West's fleet consisted of 3 buses.

April 1999

Blue Route 3, Orange Route 4, and Brown Route 5 all start service (Route 3 had another name at the time).

October 1999

Go West became a provider in the McDonough County Public Transportation system, and Gold Route 7 started service.

May 2000

First year ridership was 648,891. White Route 6 began service.

June 2000

The first summer service was available on campus.

December 2000

Fleet size increased to 10 buses (none of them new).

August 2001

Green Route 2 starts counterclockwise service for the first time around campus and into the northwest quadrant of Macomb. Ridership is now 830,601. Go West receives its first new bus, a 2001 Bluebird.

2002

Go West is granted money for six new buses to be delivered and put into service in the fall of 2004. Ridership is now 896,597.

2003

Service expanded to three buses on Route 1 six hours a day, and Route 2 is modified to go through the North Quad to help efficiencies in the North Charles Street area. Ridership is now 921,786.

2004

The original 35-foot 1983 Gillig buses that Go West used are disposed of. Ridership is now over one million per year (1.09 million)

2005

Go West receives a Downstate Operating Grant and planning money for a garage.

Three additional new buses are to be delivered during the fiscal year. Ridership is now 1.18 million riders.

2006

Go West now operating nine routes, and 15 peak buses. Ridership up 13% to 1.35 million.

The cut out at Morgan Hall was constructed, as well as the radius cut out at Charles and Adams St.  

Go West received its first federal grant in 2006 that went towards the paying for the engineering and architecture on the new Macomb Transit Center that was to be built.

2007

Bus Fare are introduced.  Go West leased 5 medium duty buses and added W20 & W21 international buses to its fleet. 

On December 1st, Go West Experienced its first snow day, accumulate 17 inches.

2008

Federal Transit Association (FTA) awarded Go West with the 2008 Ridership Award! 

2009

Assistant Director was appointed and the bus fares were removed.  The clocks inside the busses were modernized and the seat inserts were replaced

Fall 2009

GPS System is introduced and buses can now be tracked online or through cell phones @ GowestTransit.com

2010

Two 35-40 foot Gillig buses were added to the fleet, and 12 buses were disposed of, including  W77 (Original Gillig) W54 (Barney Bus, W12 (Which was bought new in 2001)

Design began for the Transit Center that will open in 2013

Jan 2010

Texting Service is now available on each bus stop sign, which gave scheduled times of each bus route.

2011

Last of the pace buses were disposed of.  Acquired bus from Sarasota FL. 

APPLE and ANDROID apps are introduced for GPS bus tracking.

Feb 13 & 14 of 2011, Go West experienced snow days and were out of service.  accumulated 22 inches.

Fall 2011

City Center Transfer center opens.  A new Line Supervisor is appointed.

July 2012

Reconstructed the N. Charles St. Cut out.

Corbin/Olson radius cut out begins construction on Adams St and Western Ave.

Aug 2012

Construction on cut out at Lincoln & Washington residence halls, and began using the Corbin/Olson cutout.

Nov 2012

Purchased another used bus from Vail Colorado.  The Total Fleet Size is now at 30.

April 1, 2013

Macomb Transit Center Grand Opening.