River Valley Metro Mass Transit District

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River Valley Metro Mass Transit District
RiverValley METRO logo.png
Slogan "The Public Service Leader for Today and Tomorrow"
Founded September 1998 (1998-09)
Headquarters 1137 E. 5000 North Road, Bourbonnais, Illinois
Locale Kankakee County
Service area Kankakee County and University Park, Will County
Service type Bus
Routes 12 bus
3 commuter bus
Stops 334[1]
Hubs 5 (transfer centers)
Fleet 28 (bus)[2]
Annual ridership 912,145 (2012)[1]
Fuel type Diesel
Operator River Valley Metro Mass Transit District
Chairman Jerry Pearce
Website rivervalleymetro.com

The River Valley Metro Mass Transit District (RVMMTD; River Valley Metro or METRO, for short) is a transit agency that operates buses which serve Kankakee County, Illinois and surrounding areas.


Founded in 1998 and operational by 1999, the River Valley Metro mass transit district took over the Kankakee Area Transit System (KATS) and became a means of transportation in the region.[3][4] The Metro has 12 total routes and 5 transfer centers which serve the communities of Bradley, Bourbonnais, Kankakee, Aroma Park and Manteno. The Metro has also received many awards including, Metro Magazine's "Fastest Growing Transit System" in North America for 2001 and "Success in Enhancing Ridership Award" from the Federal Transit Administration in 2008 and 2009.[5]

Renovation and expansion plans[edit]

The River Valley Metro has been actively studying a number of proposals for expanding bus service, that include a commuter routes to Watseka and an express route along IL 50.[6][7][8][9]

Bradley Transfer Centre[edit]

The Bradley Transfer Centre would replace the current transfer center, Saint Vincent's Transfer Center, that services the routes in western Bradley.[10] The Bradley Transfer Centre will be located in Lions Park across the street from the Saint Vincent's Transfer Center and will use a $1.6 million grant received from the state of Illinois in 2010 for this project.[11][12] Though initially estimated to be completed in Spring 2011, the project has been delayed due to issues with an underground water main in Lions Park.[13][14][1] The project is now estimated to break ground in either 2013 or spring 2014.[8][1]

Kankakee Transfer Center upgrade[edit]

A need for an upgrade of the current Kankakee Transfer Center, or Kankakee Metro CENTRE, has been noted since 2010.[15] Preliminary work has begun with an estimated completion of Fall 2015.[8][16]

Watseka Commuter Route[edit]

Watseka is currently only served by SHOW BUS Public Transportation, which currently has a once a day fixed route service from Watseka to Kankakee.[17] The route would provide service from Watseka to the Kankakee Community College and would facilitate commuters from Iroquois County that work in Kankakee County.[7][6] Service is tentatively projected to begin late 2013 or early 2014.[7]

Second University Park Commuter Service[edit]

A second University Park route along I-57 is planned that would provide transit service from I-57 exit 308, south of Kankakee, to Metra Station with stops in Peotone and Monee. The current University Park Commuter route travels along IL 50. This route would supply public transportation to an under-served area in Pace's transportation district.[7]

IL 50 rapid transit[edit]

This will be an approximate 25-mile (41 km) long express bus route running along IL 50 between Kankakee and the University Park Metra Station. A BRT route may be a viable cost effective, alternative to extending the Metra electric line from University Park to Kankakee. 60-passenger articulated buses will possibly be used and service could start by 2015.[9]

Other possible future projects[edit]

Other possible routes that could be implemented by 2018 are a downtown Kankakee circulator and a Pembroke Township route.[7]


River Valley Metro operates 12 fixed-regular bus routes and 3 commuter routes. The Midway and Momence commuter routes were added January 5, 2014.[18]


  • 1 Meadowview
  • 2 Bradley
  • 3 Northfield Square Mall
  • 4 Eastgate
  • 5 Aroma Park
  • 6 Kankakee Community College
  • 7 West Kankakee
  • 8 Medical Center
  • 9 Manteno
  • 10 Bourbonais-Briar Cliff
  • 11 Bourbonais-Heritage Plaza
  • 12 North South Connector


  • University Park
  • Midway
  • Momence

Transfer Centers[edit]

There are five transfer centers in the River Valley Metro bus system, which are:

  • Kankakee Transfer Center in Kankakee
  • Saint Vincent's Transfer Center in Bradley
  • Northfield Square Mall Transfer Center in Bradley
  • Metro Centre Transfer Center in Bourbonnais
  • Manteno Metro Centre Transfer Center in Manteno


Service Type Fare
Fixed Route Single Ride $1.00
Fixed Route Single Ride - Reduced* (05:00-08:00 & 16:00-22:30) $0.50
Fixed Route Single Ride - 5 & younger/Circuit Breaker $0.00
Commuter Routes (weekday) $2.00
Commuter Routes (weekend/holidays) $2.00
Commuter Routes (weekday 09:00-16:00) - Reduced* $1.00
Commuter Routes (Saturday 07:00-08:00 & 16:00-22:30) - Reduced* $1.00
Commuter Routes - 5 & younger $0.00
Monthly Pass $30
Monthly Pass - Student $20
Monthly Pass - Reduced* $15
Monthly Pass - All Inclusive** $40
20 Ride Pass $20
Youth Summer Pass (Memorial Day - Labor Day) - ages 6 to 18 $15

* Reduced fares are applicable on bus for seniors and riders with disabilities.
** All inclusive passes include access to any bus in the system, including University Park and Metro PLUS (ADA).

As of January 2014


  1. ^ a b c d Provost, Lee (26 April 2013). "Heard It On The Street: Metro bus service wheeling toward 1 million riders". The Daily Journal. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Age Distribution of Active Vehicle Inventory" (XLS). American Public Transportation Association. 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "About Metro". River Valley Metro. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Harnack, Leah (June 2006). "Small Agencies, Big Ideas". Mass Transit. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Metro Awards". River Valley Metro. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Krenek, Jon (9 March 2013). "Iroquois County bus routes to grow; daily airport drives eyed". The Daily Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Hinderliter, David (18 December 2012). "River Valley Metro Mass Transit District Special Board of Director Meeting" (PDF). Meeting Minutes. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Hinderliter, David (28 May 2013). "River Valley Metro Mass Transit District Board of Director Minutes" (PDF). Meeting Minutes. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Editorial: 'Smart' buses for River Valley Metro could be in place in 2 years". The Daily Journal. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "New Transfer Station in Bradley". River Valley Metro. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Provost, Lee (28 July 2010). "Bradley: Eye-appealing plan for bus transfer station". The Daily Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "River Valley Metro Receives $1.6 Million Grant to Build New Bradley Transfer Station" (PDF) (Press release). River Valley Metro Mass Transit District. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Woodlawn Park Bus Transfer Station". Tria Architecture, Inc. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Provost, Lee (28 July 2013). "Bradley: State grant boosts public transit". The Daily Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Editorial: Transfer station needed". The Daily Journal. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Kankakee Metro Centre". Tria Architecture, Inc. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Iroquois County Service". SHOW BUS Public Transportation. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "River Valley Metro Adds Two New Routes". Cornerstone Media Online. Russell Publications Online. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 

External links[edit]