By: Diane Benjamin
We’ve all seen the empty buses
We’ve all seen the inflated ridership numbers
We’ve all seen them ignore pleas from people they should be serving.
We’ve all seen the huge buses damaging infrastructure
It’s obvious they don’t care about anything except their agenda.
The agenda we see is to take as much taxpayer money as possible either locally or from federal and state grants so they can pretend they an elite urban transportation system.
If you haven’t read this story from yesterday, read it before continuing: https://blnnews.com/2019/09/26/connect-transit-fails-foia/
Here’s the facts:
- I filed a FOIA request on August 29
- On September 13th, instead of giving me the information, they claimed over 5000 records were found. They wanted me to narrow the request
- I reduced the request to 12 months
- Connect responded that narrowing the request substantially reduced the number of documents
- Next, I was promised results on September 24th
- On September 24th they said it would be one day late because somebody was absent
- I received one more notice saying their lawyer needed to finish reviewing the documents, so it would be delayed to TODAY!
Meanwhile, yesterday I filed another request for the first 5 emails ever exchanged with Smart Growth America – the consultant they hired and expect you to pay for.
Those I received the same day I filed the FOIA!
I received two emails dated 6/12/19 and two dated 6/21/19. I also received on dated 8/18/19.
Refer back to the above. I narrowed the results to 12 month and was told that substantially reduced the number of records. The first emails ever exchanged were from 3 months ago!
Bad math on their part? Maybe so since they are blind to the huge losses!
Most of the information in the emails I received just set up phone calls. The only piece of interesting information is below. A couple of notes first:
- Connect Transit sent this FOIA in Word Documents. That means I have the ability to change the information to anything I want and claim it came that way from them. It’s really easy and FREE to turn them into PDF’s that can’t be altered. Not smart on their part!
- The info below blames the US Department of Transportation for slow-rolling grant money approved by Congress. Congress handed their oversight to bureaucrats decades ago, it’s their fault for failing to budget. Maybe somebody at USDOT is actually looking to provide grant money to local transit systems that don’t budget $12,000,000 losses without serving the most vulnerable people. I hope they continue to slow-roll. Hopefully Connect Transit feels as screwed as us taxpayers!
- Today’s FOIA should be fun. I wonder if I will get another extension!
- The Connect Transit fleece will continue until local voters get rid of the elected officials who think we are Chicago.
The email references this link: (This story is over a year old)