Connect Transit and ISU – FACTS

By:  Diane Benjamin

The purpose of this story is to clarify how many ISU students ride buses and how much ISU pays for those rides.

Keep in mind employees at ISU ride with a pass just like students.  The information I received does not distinguish between the two.

To determine what the relationship is between Connect and ISU, I started by FOIAing the contract between them.  In that contract is reference to a report Connect sends to ISU every month recapping the number of rides.

Next I FOIA’d those reports, only year to date for the current fiscal year July 2018 through March 2019.  The files I received are massive, but each has the totals at the top, so I’m using those.

How much does ISU charge students?  Good question, I don’t know because it is not listed separately under Mandatory Fees.  Below is one of the fee schedules, ISU has numerous tables:  PDF page 11 and following:  https://studentaccounts.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/2018-2019%20Billing%20Brochure06222018.pdf

isu mandatory


Temporary detour:  Those fees are charged by credit hour.  If a student is taking 19 hours, they are paying $1,563.32 for the semester just in fees!  PDF page 11 shows In-State tuition:  $7,298.47  Insurance $262.00  Fees $1,563.32 for a total of $9,123.79.  Fees are 17% of the cost!  Housing isn’t included.


The table below shows total rides per month for Connect Transit:  PDF page 18  https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/April%20Connect%20Transit%20Board%20Packet%204-19.pdf

cttotal

I complied this table from the information I received:

CT Cost per ride

Connect counts transfers twice, these number also include transfers.  Note the cost per ride is less than citizens currently pay – $1.00.

See my Excel worksheet here:  Connect Transit – ISU

PDF version – harder to read since it is on multiple pages:  Connect Transit – ISU

If you look at either worksheet, it shows the number of unique students who ride the bus was highest in October – 5917.  The lowest was in July – 541, of course ISU wasn’t in session in July.   The pictures on the left edge are screen shots from the reports Connect Transit sent.

Summary:

  • All ISU students are subsidizing the ones that ride
  • All ISU students are subsidizing staff etc – anyone with an ISU ID
  • ISU is paying less for rides than other riders
  • ISU fees are more than I paid for tuition!  The cost now is way over the inflation rate.

18 thoughts on “Connect Transit and ISU – FACTS

  1. Since McDirty technically gets a “free” ride from connect, as doe Julie Hiles partner isn’t the fact they serve on the Board of Connect a conflict of interest?

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      1. Does it matter how often they ride? The “free” ride creates the appearance of a conflict of interest. In McDirty’s case his job security could be impacted if the contract with Connect were to be negatively impacted and it could be a political nightmare for ISU if students were suddenly charged $5 per semester hour in fees for public transit they don’t even use.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Jim. I wish my tax dollars subsidized Diane’s work instead of WGLT’s “journalism”. Of course Diane’s ethics and morals allow for truth, where as WGLT reporters are forced to push an agenda so they can keep there jobs and State Benefits. A journalist with an iota of integrity could not and would not work for WGLT.

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  2. Running a bus til 2:30/3:00am to service the drunks, even though there is now multiple private entities serving that purpose. BTW they could also eliminate that squad car that cuts off Center St. at Phoenix Towers on many Thursday nights and some weekends during the summer when it is not needed. Waste of BPD over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bottom line, the ISU and Connect Transit arrangement allows the latter to pad their rider numbers. “See, look…we’re doing so well!” I’m having fun watching the liberals rip each other apart over Connect Transit, as it spirals down the drain. They care about working-class people you know. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Two and three years ago, my kids rode the bus to and from ISU frequently. It wasn’t terribly convenient, but it helped our vehicle situation at the time. Now the Connect schedule is so inconvenient, it’s just easier for us to juggle vehicles.

    On a related note, my kids each pay for a parking pass in the commuter lot at ISU, and they are frequently unable to find a parking spot…even though ISU has a big empty field next to the commuter parking lot (where the Atkins-Colby? dorms used to be). ISU is selling something they can’t deliver (parking) and mandating fees for something unusable (bus).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’m fact I would like to use your ID. I’ll pick it up. I bet the bus driver won’t check and it would provide me the opportunity to ride the busses all day and talk to the riders. Just because you don’t use it doesn’t me we aren’t paying for it. Let me know when I can use it. I’m off on Thursday’s and Friday’s.

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