Why connect runs huge empty buses

By:  Diane Benjamin

Even though many of the Council people questioned Isaac Thorne of Connect Transit about the empty buses, he continued to claim at times they have 60+ boardings per hour on many routes.  Below is when Mboka asked about it – just hit play.  Thorne’s presentation and discussion starts at 11:15 if you want to hear all of it.

The reason he gave for only running large buses is parts.  He thinks it’s more productive to run buses all the same size so parts are always available.

Proving government will tell you anything to justify waste, Connect has a grant for electric buses.  They plan to buy 4 a year for the next 3 years.  Obviously electric “parts” won’t work on the current buses, so the “we need parts on hand” theory is hogwash.

Part of the discussion last night revealed more people rode the bus when the Obama gas prices were over $3 per gallon.  Ridership dropped along with the gas price.  It seems likely those large buses are running in hopes the gas prices go much higher.  The State of Illinois and the City want that too.  Both will be taking more of your money only because they can.  Fixing roads is just the cover story.

(See previous story – Bloomington’s 2014 Motor Fuel Tax did nothing to fix the roads  https://blnnews.com/2019/02/19/forget-the-roads-unless-you-pay-more/ )


7 thoughts on “Why connect runs huge empty buses

  1. I don’t think that Connect is mis-managing by using the larger busses. The vehicles already exist, so should be used unless the cost of the fuel differential between the larger and the smaller justify the retirement and re-purchase of equipment. I can say with 99% certainty that the current prices do not justify that type of move. The subject to transit will always be vexing because it is a binary matter. Either we have the transit with the attendant losses and call it a social cost, or we stop it and end the losses; a move that will be translated as socially discriminatory. Better to find our economies in other areas and continue to manage Connect with the best practices that we can find.

    1. Just wondering if you even read the story Tari? Your justification can be used in EVERY scenario. Get a clue. We can’t continue to break the bank for a very limited group of people. Your idea about cost of fuel being a determining factor a joke. Read the story. They are changing to electric, at least you could admit if we have to be stuck with this money pit, buy smaller electric vehicles.

  2. I say he is full of poop , 60 per our hour is less than two buses. Why not have all smaller buses that could take care of that HUGE amount of people. Even if you may need a extra one.
    If they buy the large bigger buses we are the problem. I would like to know at any one time , what is the most people on any route.

  3. My son sometimes rides the bus during ‘morning rush hour’. I asked him what was the most people he ever saw on the bus at the same time. He said once he saw a dozen, half of whom were together, but usually it was more like 4.

    Granted that’s a limited sample from one route, but if real stats aren’t available, then basing policy on empirical evidence is better than basing it on theoretical scenarios as we do now. As existing buses break down or wear out, they should be phased out in favor of smaller buses and more unconventional solutions like partnerships with Uber, Lyft, and local cab companies.

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