By: Diane Benjamin
Why was the Connect Transit Working Group formed?
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:
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.