Who is the Working Group working for?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Why was the Connect Transit Working Group formed?

Think back:

People disenfranchised by route changes, non ADA compliance, fare increases, and huge empty buses showed up at City Council meetings (over and over) demanding changes.

These people had tried talking to the Connect Transit Board and were ignored.

They tried talking to both City Councils and were not heard.

Poof!  Let’s have a “working group” to solve issues.

Instead of having real discussions, Connect hired a consultant.  Of course the consultant steers the discussion where they want to go.  The issues aren’t being discussed.

Below is what the group is supposed to study before the meeting tomorrow:

CttF Reading Materials for 08.17 w attachments

It has way more to do with funding sources and increasing ridership than addressing issues.

“Visioning” is part of the agenda.

“Visioning” is an attempt to engage the public in making decisions.  Bring It On Bloomington was a vision that few participated in, but plans were made based on the results anyway.  Bike Lanes were created by a vision survey nobody knew about.  Uptown was “visioned”.

The funniest is #4:  Transit funding in St. Louis.  Bloomington-Normal compares to St Louis?

#5 is Thinking Outside the Farebox: Creative approaches to financing transit projects

Unless Connect plans to print money, where do you think the money comes from?

The real problem is identified in #5.  They will look at funding for large transit systems.

The only thing large about Connect Transit is the size of their empty buses.

Connect provided another document with topics for the future:  Topics for Connect to the Future Focus Groups

The consultant wants the Working Group separated into 4 groups.  Each group studies a different issue:


Where are the issues that created the group being discussed?

By dividing the group every member never hears what the others say.  Every member doesn’t have input on discussions.  Divide and Conquer!  

This pic is on page 12 of the first document:


Bloomington-Normal has had bus service for decades.  It wasn’t until the former Connect manager arrived (Andrew Johnson) that the system went off the rails with fancy huge un-affordable buses simply because your leaders wanted to build a big city transit system for the 21st century.

Bloomington-Normal isn’t a big city. Nobody believes Connect provides 2,446,527 passenger trips when the buses are empty and transfers are counted twice..

Nobody believes Connect should be providing rides on Connect Mobility when a taxi or Uber is light years more sustainable.

Tari Renner, Chris Koos and their appointed lackeys on the Connect Transit Board need to accept reality and overhaul this broken system.  They won’t.

The Working Group is merely a way to deflect criticism while Connect Transit conducts business as usual.  Meanwhile it gives Renner and Koos a reason for not appointing new members to the Board that may not be in their pocket.

When will this farce end?

That’s up to you.  Hopefully before another tax increase is passed to fund a system that still doesn’t meet the needs of people who have no alternative transportation.







10 thoughts on “Who is the Working Group working for?

  1. I’m pretty sure the working group is unwittingly working for the thieves at Connect Transit and City Hall. It feels like the system is set up so citizens cannot win.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps it might help to look at how Peoria runs their mass transit? Much better alignment. As far as I know, they run it as a business and run it well though they had their share of challenges too. I understand them to be operationally solvent with services, expenses and revenues aligned with community need. They even run the same operations system (same with Champaign). So what’s different? You probably already know. An easy option might be to outsource to Peoria to gain even more central Illinois efficiencies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We might be turning the corner. The elites that claim to be for the poor and needy are now on the run politically from Connect Transit riders/customers. The outpouring of attention from riders/customers finding their voice has effectively prevented the elites from demagoguing the issue or trying to turn the riders/customers against those that suggest even the mildest of reforms or changes. Renner, Koos, the CT trough feeders and their elitist pals are stuck defending the indefensible…the status quo of CT. Suggesting or even demanding changes to CT is now a political net positive, earning voter support from both fiscally concerned taxpayers as well as the riders themselves. Let’s face it, the “working group” is designed to redirect angry riders/customers away from Renner, Koos, and elected officials while giving them a false sense of hope that things will be fixed or addressed. The good news…I don’t think the riders/customers are going to fall for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I drive for Lyft and Uber and of it comes up I share the facts with my passengers. Picked up four new college students today that couldn’t get home after taking the bus out. One bus didn’t show the other went a different way than expected. Could have been user error but still…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From their own numbers: $90 cost per revenue hour / $4 cost per ride = 22 rides per hour. Assuming any given ride is 20 minutes (40 minutes if a transfer) yields 7 riders at any given time. Spread over a system with 14 routes (per their system map online) yields an average bus occupancy of 1/2 person. And that seems to be in line with observations from people here – sometimes you see 3 or 4 people on the bus, but the average is less than 1, so they’re usually empty. So if they deny it, you Know they’re lying someplace, because their own numbers say so!


  6. “Consultants and Studies” You would THINK that by now the mayors AND councils would be “brain addled” silly by such nonsense! MAYBE we should form a study group to see IF they are competent??


  7. This crossed m mind when I heard an advertisement for Connect on WJBC… they have an app now. Hip Hip and all that. I don’t have a smart phone and I wonder how many of The folks that need to ride a bus have iPhones. Yvonne


    Liked by 1 person

  8. why are they using UTAH and St Louis? Does this guy seriously think you can compare these to Bloomington/Normal transit? and taxpayers are paying for this guy to spew this crap? if you are going to compare cities why not Peoria? Or at least something in Illinois. everytime these idiots start discussing disconnect I fondly remember what out bus service used to be : A PUBLIC SERVICE! now its just a bad joke that consumes taxpayers money and provides nothing.


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