Find out tonight: Why Huge Empty Buses

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Bloomington City Council is holding a Committee of the Whole meeting tonight:

On the agenda:

Annual report to be given by Isaac Thorne, General Manager at Connect Transit.

Thorne will tout the new electric buses and solar infrastructure.  He will also talk about locations in downtown Bloomington for the transfer station.

Thorne will also reveal ridership in the last 10 years increased 8.5% or 102,000 trips.  Since they now operate 7 days a week, that’s 279 trips per day – not people since if they switch buses they are counted twice.

November 2012 is the oldest report Connect still has on-line.  It shows:

Total Revenue without subsidies:  $141,666   PDF page 31:,%202013%20Board%20Packet10.pdf

Total Expenses were $928,038.

Actual loss:  $786,372.

Subsidies totaled $788,313.

Keep that date in mind!

So how does 2012 compare with November 2018?  Keep in mind Thorne will glow talking about increasing ridership:

Total Revenue without subsidies:   $114,157   PDF page 8

Total Expenses were:   $1,020,327

Actual Loss:  $906,170

Subsidies totaled $894,000  ($83,333 came from Bloomington and Normal – they weren’t paying in 2012)

Moral of this story:

Increasing the number of rides means losing more money! 

PDF page 16 – changing routes decreased riders:

PDF page 19 claims Thorne will answer questions – one being why they use large buses.  The following page looks like he will claim the buses are more efficient than “ride sharing”.

(stop laughing  . . . . . now)

Other items:

Next years budget and Joni Painter wanting the ban on new video gaming expanded.  Yes, the morality police are out.







17 thoughts on “Find out tonight: Why Huge Empty Buses

  1. I wonder – has anyone on the Board considered operating smaller buses? Or better yet, update the public transportation to follow the Lyft model – I mean, the city could use all of the electric cars that we have already purchased? Then we wouldn’t have large/heavy buses driving around in circles all day with no riders – burning fuel and adding to the wear/tear on the roads. AND don’t forget the fleet of electric cars have “free” charging!


      1. Maybe the Ecology Action Center could study how much Connect Transit “saves” by going solar. Hahahaha! Perhaps, they are too busy doing recycle bin inspections or lecturing business owners.


  2. WHAT Connect Transit NEEDS is GOOD management! Not some charts, graphs and pshcyo leftist babble about HOW they are “saving the planet” Those buses DESTROY the roads, just drive out by their garage on the road they come in on. It’s a washboard!


  3. Albuquerque NM just had to scrap their electric bus program after spending $133 million on the buses and infrastructure. The buses were plagued with problems. I’m sure Bloomington will not use this as a case study or a caution to their plans.


  4. Connect Transit has (not surprisingly) turned into a political interest group that serves itself and its employees, as well as the local non-profit industrial complex, excites the “green” eco-warriors, offers patronage jobs, and enriches the vendors that make money selling them stuff. It amazes me how much the beautiful people in the establishment, living in their McMansions, fawn over Connect Transit as a valuable resource while never taking a single ride on the bus line (minus the photo op next to King Koos). Perhaps worse still, Connect Transit is a featured member of EDC and BN Advantage, as if a bus line will help sell a company on relocating to Bloomington-Normal. (I guess this assumes that said business owners don’t look at the roads underneath the buses.) Isaac will, of course, cherrypick stats and the Council will applaud the hard work of his team, citing the growth of ridership as evidence that interest is growing and we need to continue to “invest” in Connect Transit. No one will dare ask about the bleeding of taxpayer dollars because they would be labeled “anti-taxers” and attacked by Tari, the Council, members of the establishment. Everyone doing their part to protect the status quo.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. But we will need those HUGE buses when the Green New Dealers (Today’s Democrats) confiscate our private vehicles in 10 years.

    I’m half serious–don’t think for a moment that isn’t coming!


  6. As somebody who drives all day for Uber, all day long all I see is empty buses. You may see three or four people on a bus occasionally. The absolutely only bus you ever see full is the Redbird Express.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah yes, the “Green New Deal” a hair brained ideal to “save the planet, with absolutely NO thought whatsoever about HOW it’s going to work, the economics that will be impacted and HOW it’s going to be “successfully” implemented!! Or, how it’ll be “funded”… It’s NOW WONDER when astronomers look for INTELLIGENT LIFE, they point their telescopes into space.
    Probably WHY the Democrats want our guns also, so we can’t shoot the little green men when they show up, being “aliens” and all..


  8. No they want our guns so when they take over…..which the way it is going will happen. Then they won’t worry about when we finally have had enough to fight we won’t have guns to fight. Kind’a like Hitler, Stalin…..

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It was interesting to read the article about Painter not wanting gambling, in part because people at truck stops would pull money out of the economy. The same article that shows huge losses by players – the machines, like slot machines, are programmed to lose money. Some win; mite lose. Thus, the state/municipality, owners, and gaming companies all get huge profits/taxes.

    So Joni, isn’t it a good thing that those people are bringing money to town and leaving it here? If not, you might want to consider all the lofty tourism/entertainment taxes you advocate for.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Electric busses? Here is the title of an article I read yesterday on Breitbart. Mass Transit Fail: Albuquerque’s $133 Million Bus System ‘on a Road to Nowhere’ Just google it if you want to read whole article . The synopsis of the article tells how the city bought these electric busses with taxpayers monies and how they are now out of service rotting in a garage because they dont work and are useless. After reading the article the first thought on my mind was ” Gee, a preview of what’s going to happen right here in BLONO” Here’s the link:

    Liked by 1 person

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