Transfer Station, the full facts

By:  Diane Benjamin

When you drive into a town, what buildings are often the most beautiful?  Bloomington has opted for designs that don’t stand the test of time, so they don’t count.

Normally it is City Hall, the library, the Capital building etc. – in other words government buildings!

Connect Transit isn’t happy with their downtown digs.  Funny how their routes bring people there on purpose to switch buses.  They demand a new home now.

Connect claims 1500 people a day use the downtown transfer station.  Assuming they return from where ever they went, that means 750 people twice a day.  (1% of the estimated population of 75,000 – even fewer if Normal is included)

They want to be able to fit 8-10 buses all at once at their new location.

According to the website, on most days Connect runs from 6:00 am to 9:30 pm.  That is 15 and half hours a day for 1500 people.  That means around 96 people per hour on let’s say 8 buses at a time.  TWELVE riders per mega bus!

Have you ever seen 12 people on a bus?  Send me a pic please.

Connect’s plans end the need for Bloomington to build restrooms downtown, unless Bloomington thinks they need their own.  The building they want is 6000-7500 square feet.

The buzz words mentioned were:

Safe, Safety, no crossing roads, amenities, bike path access, bike racks, bike repair, 500 x 250 land needed (more than an acre), development surrounding the station, public parking completely separate from the buses

Karen Schmidt asked the question everybody asks:  Why such big buses?  See 56:23

They want to standardize buses.  Issac Thorne claims no difference in operating cost (fuel?!?) and the purchase price difference between 30 and 40 foot buses is only $7000.  According to him that’s minimal.  Wear and tear on the roads wasn’t mentioned.

Amelia Buragas (who probably never rides the bus) is very excited about this downtown development!

Connect received a State grant of $250,000 for a feasibility study.  They want Bloomington to suggest sites.

Alderman Bray wants to look at transfer stations in other cities like the one Farnsworth is proposing.  A  Farnsworth rep is going to get her a list.  He did mention Normal’s is multi-modal, sounds like the wording in yesterday’s McLean County Regional Planning Commission story:

Connect claims when gas prices were high, they had 2.7 million riders a year.  Now they have 2.2 million, hopefully up 10% from last year.

Connect claims they have money saved for this project.  If that is correct it is being hidden, the monthly financial statements show the capital account loaned almost $3 million to operating:  Listen at 1:05:45.

PDF page 9:

Hear Karen Schmidt’s question about bus size and the answer here:  

15 thoughts on “Transfer Station, the full facts

  1. Just for fun: Mike McCurdy rode his bike to the Council Meeting last night. Wonder if he got off at the current downtown station with his bike and the ride over to the Council Meeting. “ Political Repercussions” and all

    1. Haha! Watch your wallet while Bikey Mikey is around. I’m so glad we have luminaries like him lecturing peasants like you and me on public policy.

  2. When Connect Transit becomes efficient and cuts down expenses maybe then we could entertain their wish list. But this is ridiculous! Imagine a business owner asking investors for more money and resources when their existing operations are incredibly inefficient, administrative expenses are bloated, and the company wastes money on nice-to-haves. Well, since I as a taxpayer am an investor, I’d say we need to cut our losses and sell off the assets.

    1. Ohhh. I just imagined that company…it was called Enron or maybe it was Amtrak…or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There were “political repercussions”.

  3. Amelia’s husband is on the board of MCRP and an employee of Farnsworth. Of course the language is incorporated into the discussion.

  4. What?? How many buses does CT have? The difference between a 30 and 40 foot bus is $7,000/bus. That amount is insignificant? In whose world?

  5. they didn’t need this bs back in the 60’s , but then there were more riders ,smaller buses , and the riders that needed to all transferred any at a few various areas including a down town that had shops and businesses and offices . i rode the system back then . the only thing i see is now changing is incompetence and funding of debt and waste . why don’t they look back at the old system that made a profit , ran a lot better , and didn’t ask for much . that bunch is hiding something , much like those in the beginning of the Colosseum mess . this town loves a good shim sham , as terry allows more to appear . you would think he and the council would ask more tough things but hey they love studies that support waste , take my money please ..

  6. I wonder sometimes if certain investors , land owners , backers , businesses, engineering firms , etc. don’t profit from all of these venturous projects . . many are exorbitant , way past just meeting a basic frugal need too . but if there’s a dollar to squeeze ,, there seems to be a will of a few to apply pressure till the bubble burst , making them very happy till the next crazy expenditure , while most scrape to fill the debt burdens those fools have laden upon the city .

  7. Sounds like a conflict of interest. IF CT wants an acre of land, where’s Tari going to get space for HIS downtown TARI TOWERS? And I have to admit, Amelia getting excited!! Really? She probably gets excited visiting the pink flamingoes.. I have a feeling her life is like that TV show that lasted a season or 2 called “the DOME” where everybody who lived in it, well, I don’t know, because it was boring and I went and pulled dandelions instead..

  8. The day Amelia Buragas gets on a city bus, unless it’s brand, spanking new and has never had any local bus riders on it first or she’s fully doused in Purel from head to toe, is the day I become POTUS.

  9. Two comments: Clearly Thorne is a knucklehead if he thinks $7000.00 per bus is peanuts. And secondly, I always wonder of the southern approach to town and seeing a jail, with a new nut section and the beautiful C11E building. Nor there is class!

Leave a Reply