Empty buses! Buy more.

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Year End for Connect Transit was June 30th.  Instead of presenting an un-audited statement of revenue and expenses for June, they skipped it.

The packet does show total expenses, but that’s only because the Board had to approve payments.   https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TiC87VqRCaB2wpLhup39CgrsDb2u9SmX/view

Payments include:




Income in June of the previous year was below $100,000.  That means without the new buses Connect easily lost over $1,000,000 for just June.

Many of the statistics Connect normally includes are blank for June.  One they did include is Fixed Route passengers per hour.  According to PDF page 12, Connect runs 6 Fixed Routes.  Boardings per hour (PDF page 8) was 17.25.  That is less than 3 people on each route.

PDF page 11 shows total fixed route ridership of 143,765.  Keep in mind that isn’t the number of riders for the month since changing buses counts as 2 rides.  The return trip is another 2 rides.  Even Connect admitted at a meeting I attended they have no idea how many people actually use the buses.

One interesting fact:

The financial statements for the years ending 6/30/16 and 6/30/17 were audited together.    https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/FINAL-Statement-Dated%2010.17.17%20Bloomington-Normal%20Public%20Transit%20System.pdf

Statements should be audited EVERY year!   The operating losses for 3 years are on PDF page 18:

This is what fiscal responsibility looks like not just in Bloomington-Normal.  This is repeated across the country.







20 thoughts on “Empty buses! Buy more.

  1. Does Connect repower any of these buses? Engine replacements are done frequently in bus fleets and can be done at a fraction of new vehicle cost. When they spend someone elses money and are not in business to make a profit or even break even it is easy to just spend away.

  2. I use the buses to get to my church. They’re clean, sometimes nearly empty and sometimes almost full, and the drivers are polite. Are you suggesting this public service (like cops, roads, firemen) should pay for itself? I’m not sure that is how it works or should work for those less fortunate and need to use public transportation or for those who choose to use it.

    1. Are you glad your tax money is wasted to the tune of $1,000,000 a month? Surely you don’t want your hard earned money to go to such waste and abuse. You’re money would go much farther if you weren’t burdened with taxes. You’d have more money to spend. If Connect Transit cannot meet their expenses, then they should be shut down. Giving you a voucher for a taxi to get to church would cost taxpayers less and make more sense.

    2. Realistically, I would LOVE to pay your Uber or Yellow Taxi to pick you up from home and deliver you to your church then provide a return trip. I would love to do that for a thirty day period of time and submit my receipts to ConnectTransit and request a refund, even though I know they would not honor the request.

      But, I am (thankfully) moving from Illinois (to a neighboring “Show Me” state) in three weeks and therefore have no more “skin in the game.” Sorry.

  3. In response to Serving Him, wouldn’t it be cheaper to give you a voucher to use Uber or a taxi? Losing almost one million a month is ludicrous. Connect transit needs at least a 50% reduction in expenses to begin with. Never have I seen such a blatant abuse and misuse of taxpayer funds.

    1. I think the good Lord would be more concerned about food and shelter than transportation . Let’s not forget the homeless.

  4. That brings up an interesting point. There are MANY churches that have their OWN busses, and they seem to keep them running well on a given budget.
    Maybe Connect should follow him also..

  5. Connect Transit exists to employ friends of government and grow the size and reach of government. It masks itself as providing a social good. The amount of deepening losses are unsustainable. Connect Transit is doubling down on spending thinking they can turn the corner. It will never happen. This is a disaster in the making.

  6. 5:00 pm—rush hour—at Oakland and Veterans, going west on Oakland, one of those massive buses was empty—not even one person from the SF corporate south area using public transit.

    1. Of course. No one with a choice would choose to take Connect Transit. A 7-minute commute would take hours and possibly a transfer or two. Add to which, how is Connect Transit practical for parents that need to pick up kids and/or shuttle them to practice, camp, etc.

  7. Wow for a million bucks a month a city could start a public rent-a-car program for nominal fees, hire a couple mechanics to keep them all running, give driver’s license back to hundreds of Americans that deserve them back, buy gas, pay insurance etc., and save money. More conveinent for those unfortunate needy riders. And after a few million was spend the rest to go to maintain the roads.

  8. So many options!. Thank you, Jesus! Are you willing to provide Uber and taxi vouchers for everyone on the bus, ShortTimer? I ride the bus because it’s too far to walk and the roads are too busy to bike on. I don’t like crossing Veteran’s Parkway on a bike. Why do you drive, old stanky? Every try the bus? It really works out well for me. Just not on Sunday, either.

  9. Old Stanky, is that true? Would private car service actually only cost a million dollars for anyone who wanted to ride? Sound super nice, do you have numbers or are you just teasing me?

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