How’s Connect Transit ridership?

By:  Diane Benjamin

In order to see trends in bus ridership, information must be gleaned from the Board reports:  http://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp

Below is a summary of riders compared to the number for the same month in the previous year:

ctxThe below is from the audited financial statements in the October 27, 2015 packet.

incomelossxNote Connect Transit has an operating LOSS of between $9 and $10 Million for the last 3 years.  Grants make up most of the difference. 

Grants are not free money!  Grants are your tax dollars being redistributed where government thinks it should go.

The operating loss of almost $10 Million doesn’t matter to government.  They believe they are providing a public service.  In reality, they are prevent citizens from creating their own transportation.

Or, maybe the citizens are smarter than they think!  Ridership is down.

Redistributing your wealth via government.  With fewer riders, of course they need more money.

Hence, a sales tax increase.

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15 thoughts on “How’s Connect Transit ridership?

  1. Isn’t riding bicycles and walking more sustainable than diesel belching busses? Why do we keep reinvesting for losing propositions? I am so confused!

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  2. “Connect Transit’s Downtown Transportation Center currently serves 436,662 rides a year from the downtown connection point.”
    http://www.cityblm.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=8616
    I don’t know for sure how many other rides there are from other connection points. But 436,662 rides a year, not RIDERS, is a very small amount compared to the B/N Metro area. CT has also applied for a TIGER Federal Grant for the construction of the NEW Downtown hub to be built in conjunction with the jail expansion.

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  3. So let’s do the math: Call it 500,000 annual rides at a $10,000,000 yearly loss. Taxpayers are on the hook to subsidize EACH Ride at $20 a piece! About what we found when we studied it in the 1980s. 40 years…..$20 cost for each ride. Where is the outrage!

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    1. Council’s “philosophy” is “to charge for use” as in Solid Waste. Riders should be charged $20.00/ride. Is that sustainable transportation?

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  4. Having sat at the uptown station waiting for my sister from Pontiac (no train service today) most buses had no riders or only 1 or 2 on buses equipped for dozens. I saw the same bus for tri towers coming through over and over and I can see the tri towers of ISU from the seat at the door. Perhaps Obamas fight against obesity should require college students to walk these short distances. What a waste of fuel and drivers. If they had to pay $20.00 they might choose to walk.

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    1. ISU kids will walk with no coats on in the dead of winter back to campus from the downtown Bloomington bars at 2 o’clock in the morning so maybe that determination could be channeled into “no bus for you!”

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  5. My 81 year old mom rides the bus everywhere. I do know that some routes are full because the foreigner men wont give up their seats for her.

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  6. Policy Statement found in Budget Report year ending May 2014:

    “9. JOINT VENTURE
    The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System (System) is a joint venture between the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal for the purpose of engaging in a wide variety of activities necessary for operation of a transit system within the corporate limits of the two governmental entities. The governing Board is composed of 4 City representatives and 3 Town representatives. The System is funded primarily through federal and state governmental assistance. Other revenue sources include fares and contractual fees. Any deficits incurred by the System are to be made up by the City and Town in accordance with a prescribed formula. The System’s financial activities, other than operating subsidies and advances from the City, are not included in the City’s reporting entity.”

    http://www.cityblm.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=7479 page 66

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  7. I think you look at this issue too simply. If people can’t get to their jobs, and therefore lose them, then you will pay for it in welfare, food stamps, affordable housing etc. It shouldn’t matter bus ridership numbers because we should understand that the bus itself is subsidizing other thing like making sure people get to their jobs so they are not on welfare. I do not know where you stand on welfare- maybe you think we should pay more welfare!

    Additionally, if people can’t get to work, they can’t make money and therefore cannot put back into the economy. Also, if they cannot get to the mall, Uptown, Walmart, grocery store, they cannot provide our local economy with money. I guess I do not know where you stand on supporting the local economy- maybe you don’t (although, truly you should be an advocate for supporting our local economy)

    I understand that it is really easy to look at things black/white, but understanding the bigger picture comes into play.

    Wishing you the best! Hope you use your talents to think bigger! Please do support our local economy!

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      1. Yay! You do get it! Funny response though- tonuge and cheek way of saying it. I am so glad you support public transit. I am sorry for my previous comment. I thought you didn’t get it, but you do! Thanks for the response! Happy Thanksgiving!

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      2. Oh I forgot to mention! Please do support our local economy and small businesses this holiday season like the Connect Transit riders do! Keep your buying to in town and not just online!

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