Sustainable? nope

By:  Diane Benjamin

Government help frequently makes the problem worse.

There is no clearer case than Connect Transit!

Keep in mind the Federal Government is funding this lunacy at your expense across the country.

The below was an addendum to last month’s agenda:  PDF page 3    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4zAZemF_qQubmxRRUsxaHZicFU/view

 

65% funding is the same as 2017.  Both Bloomington and Normal increased the amount of money they gave to Connect last year – more of your money.

Bloomington gave them $1,188,050.00 in the 2017 budget.  In 2016 they only got $573,550.   https://blnnews.com/2017/11/03/irony-of-the-day/

Normal budgeted $862,460 up from $424,036 two years ago.  PDF page 78   http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/11571

One more note:

Many people are employed by the Federal Government to simply figure out how much money each State gets.  Many more people are employed by the State of Illinois to distribute the Federal money.  Then Connect Transit has employees for which the people who ride the bus don’t come close to covering the payroll.

Ever think the only fix for stupid government is collapse?

I don’t see anybody rushing to make public transportation sustainable.  It isn’t and it can’t last forever.  Government always runs out of other people’s money.  Bloomington and Normal already have.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Connect Transit is just one terrible example of government waste. It’s in one town in Illinois. Just think of how many “Connect Transit” money pits exist across the USA. Congress should stop writing new legislation and start repealing current funding of insane government projects. MAGA!

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    • Agreed. If Connect Transit ceased operations overnight, the average TAXPAYER wouldn’t notice any impact in their daily life. It’s a wasteful, financially burdensome organization that delivers questionable results or value to the community. Employers of its predominately low-income ridership have complained that it’s an inefficient method to ferry employees to the job site. Two buses and 1.5 hours to travel to a low wage job? That is of course if the schedule aligns with your work schedule. It’s been said before…it would be a less expensive and higher quality experience if we were to subsidize Uber travel for those in need (not want) of transportation. There’s no infrastructure to maintain and no trough feeder salaries when you go through a rideshare service. And there’s transparency in travel records.Well, I think I just figured out way government doesn’t like this idea.

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      • There was a taxi service in Dallas (there might very well still be) that gave heavily discounted rides to Senior Citizens and disabled on fixed incomes. It worked very well from what I knew of it. That is another possible “fix”. BloNo does NOT need the sort of Bus service that it has and it could do away with a bunch of the trough feeders too. Another thing that I know cities/towns hate are the volunteer services, sometimes people who are retired themselves who give rides to people on a private word of mouth but also somewhat organized basis, no government interference etc. I have in the past suggested here that maybe just using much smaller buses would help, but then there would still be the overpaid staff, especially the assistant to the assistant type positions that would continue to drain money any way. I just know that Connect Transit is a money pit and needs some sort of major over-haul, but with our current “leadership” a positive change will never happen and they won’t listen to anyone who isn’t in lock step or at least on the same page they are.

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  2. This would explain the recent fluff pieces in the Pantagraph and WGLT. Ridership is up, so we need more money. I suspect that if ridership was down, they would reach the same conclusion. Connect Transit finances will never improve. It will continue losing more and more money in perpetuity. It’s cute that Connect Transit tries to sell their service as a way to “get around town”. They forgot the word “inefficiently”.

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  3. Didn’t WGLT just report 2.4 million rides per year and an almost 10% increase in ridership? What do all of those people do? Uber? It costs transit on average $4 per ride (yes, we’ve established it’s subsidized). Uber from west Bloomington to a “low wage” job on the east side costs around $20. You’re willing to pay that, “Workingman?” Anyone know if Uber can absorb 2.4 million rides per year. These ideas are not well thought out. I don’t understand why it’s okay to subsidize and pay for roads, and airports, and freight travel, and passenger rail, but not transit, which also part of the transportation network. I clearly don’t understand your disconnect…but surely you’ll be happy to point it out. And good luck getting your groceries checked out or your Big Mac when the worker can’t get there check you out or prepare your burger.

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    • Who are the majority of riders? It isn’t people riding to jobs, it’s college kids.

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    • A trip from the West Side Walmart to the airport cost less than $14. And the vast majority of rides people take a well under $10. And as a Uber and Lyft driver I give plenty of rides to low-income people. I also got plenty of rides to people who don’t want to wait for the bus because it takes forever. And since I’m on the road all the time I always see these huge buses driving with one or two people on them. It is rare to see any more than that.

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  4. As of 11/16/17, CT will provide service to Eastview Christian Church on Thursdays for their Food Pantry and Sunday for worship services. Eastview is providing some funding for the Thursday Tripper to transport people from Uptown to the Food Pantry.
    https://www.connect-transit.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=23361

    I find it hypocritical that CT’s Board won’t service outlying areas where the working poor live but will add a special tripper service for a special client–a religious institution. Don’t get me wrong, I have volunteered at food pantries and recognize the need and value but I don’t believe that local tax dollars should be used to provide public transportation to a specific church located in the hinterland. Here lies the problem–the Town and City hand over millions of dollars to a group that has no accountability to the taxpayers. The Board is appointed, not elected. Instead of the City determining the level of support and CT having to budget accordingly, CT decides what they want and sends the “bill” to the City. And, the Town and City wonder why there are structural deficits.

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  5. Elizabeth Gruber says:

    Are the ads covering the buses so that we can’t see how empty they are? Time to stop this incessant waste.

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  6. In all honesty I do see the need for some sort of public transportation for those who either need or want to use the bus. I have traveled to many other countries that have outstanding bus service and not all of them are socialist types such as France/Sweden etc in fact I find that the bus services in UK and some EU countries have gotten worse as of late while the bus service in Mexico and most of Poland is still excellent. The fact is, the USA is a country that has been based on private car transportation for a LONG time – some other countries have not, therefore the bus service has always been a popular and well used form of transportation – you can not force Americans to use buses, not in areas other than say NYC where owning a car is sometimes more of a hindrance than an asset if you live in the city itself. Connect transit is not well used but bloated entity that will never in it’s current state be a profitable or even break even enterprise unless some drastic changes are made – No mater how much Tari and Chris want BloNo to be Little Chicago, it’s not happening – they need to face that fact and adjust accordingly, and of course the city councils etc do as well. Oh I see the odd professor or “artistic” type or two taking a bus now and then, but the ridership IS students without cars and lower income people or the most part. These people do need some sort of bus system, but the current one is not it. I’m not sure HOW to change it, if I was I would be charging 5-7 thousand a day for seminars and the like so I could help them fix it… – unfortunately, it seems they aren’t finding anyone for any amount of money that can fix it – the money just goes into the bottomless pit and nothing REALLY improves or becomes more cost efficient and it’s mostly those who never RIDE the bus who pay for the bus. I sometimes wonder if it would be cheaper to just give them used but decent cars if they are able to drive and then have a bus service only for the elderly or disabled. Eleven million dollars could buy at least 3,000 “at least ok” cars.

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  7. concerned citizen says:

    Why run these large buses? Looking in the windows they are largely not needed. Vehicles similar to airport shuttles could be used to accomplish most routes, with large buses used on routes, if any, that need them. This could save enough money to add some routes or frequency and possibly increase ridership.

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