Normal – Part 4 Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin

This will be the final story documenting the Normal council meeting held on 10/7/2019

See the other parts here – they all tie together:

https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-1/

https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-2/

https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-3/

The Connect Transit problem is now clear.  The Board, appointed by both mayors, has a mission that doesn’t align with what taxpayers expect a transit system to be.

Keep in mind:  EVERY ride on a bus is subsidized.  The $1 fare doesn’t cover any rides, the cost varies with the number of riders – but it is around $4.  https://blnnews.com/2019/08/16/who-is-the-working-group-working-for/

The more riders Connect recruits the more money they will lose.  Maybe if the buses were full during all hours of operation the break-even point would close.

Of course that isn’t going to happen.

Kevin McCarthy stated a Public Transit system should serve all people:  3:07:00.  Members of the Board follow stating they are trying to provide service to as many people as possible with limited funds.  Both Mike McCurdy and Ryan Whitehouse constantly asked for more money if the Council wants under-served areas covered.  McCurdy stated that if transit dependent riders are over-served other riders will come.

Most people will never ride the bus.  Some of the current riders can afford other transportation – they choose to ride at taxpayer expense.

Meanwhile, people with no other transportation available are not being served.  That is why groups started showing up at Council meetings.  These people had tried talking to the Connect Transit Board and were ignored.  The Working Group was created to make them think they would be heard.

2:47:15 – Chemberly Cummings tries to claim the grant for new buses must be used on electric buses.  Whitehouse claims the grant is for low or no emission buses.  Nord responded with the grants website doesn’t specify electric.  The Board decided electric is the future, even though they are much heavier.  Keep in mind, the electric buses are more expensive and Connect plans to spend $1,700,000 for solar panels.  https://blnnews.com/2019/05/04/solar-panels-for-connect-transit-you-wont-approve/

McCurdy went on to claim they have never pulled service based on the size or weight of a bus.  Nord refutes that claim.

3:02:40 – Karyn Smith questions their ridership data.  Connect says again they count boardings as riders just like every transit system does.  Karyn questioned whether transfers after restructuring are making it look like ridership is higher.  McCurdy claims transfers are not up – that means Connect knows exactly how many people ride, we just aren’t being told.  A FOIA was filed for transfer information.

3:16:15 – Board member Ryan Whitehouse stated the Board has been asked not to get involved in the Working Group until they are done.  Meanwhile, Board members Judy Buchanan and Julie Hile are running the Working Group!

3:20:00  Stan Nord stated the Working Group was formed to address ADA and non service issues.  He claims the public is coming to elected officials for help.  At 3:22:45 Ryan Whitehouse claims nobody has come before the Connect Transit Board with problems.

3:25:45  Mike McCurdy claims empty buses are normal for a transit system because ridership is cyclical.  McCurdy claimed he joined the Board in 2011 to push for amenities like shelters and bus stops.  He repeats again “attracting the choice rider”.  He never explains why the “choice” rider should be riding at taxpayer expense!

3:25:45 – Koos sounds like he will demand the Council fund more shelters.   Meanwhile Connect is spending $184,000 on showers.  Connect calls it a safety issue.  $184,000!

3:28:50 – Kevin McCarthy requested his fellow Council members not make adversaries out of the Normal representatives.  He also claims the Normal roads are NOT falling apart.

3:30:45 – MCurdy claims they don’t make a choice between serving any strategic types of riders.  (dependent or choice)  3:31:50 – In response to another question from Stan, McCurdy claims they can’t serve trailer parks unless they get more funding.  Whitehouse claims their job is to serve the most people with limited resources.

3:33:45 – Nord asked about the status of service at the Landings Trailer Park, he claimed they requested service.  McCurdy claims too few rode to warrant service.  Nord claims the larger buses made service impossible.  McCurdy refutes that based on their data points.

3:36:20 – McCurdy claims ridership was decreasing before the route restructure.  Presently it is not back to what it was before changes were made, but ridership is rising as people become familiar with the new routes.

3:38:30 – Stan asked about the VA Clinic.  McCurdy claims he isn’t familiar with the details.  Stan said the current bus stop is 120 yards away from the door.  McCurdy claims staff will get back to him.

3:40:30 – McCurdy claimed building new shelters is maxed out by the construction season, Whitehouse claimed it’s money.

3:41:50 – Pam Reece claimed it isn’t unusual for showers to be available for hazardous jobs.

3:45:00 – Scott Preston wants the empty seat on the Board filled

3:46:40 – Stan asks McCurdy and Whitehouse to quit making long range changes until the Working Group finishes.  He asks them to listen to their customers – like a business should.

3:48:15 – Chemberly Cummings claims this area is becoming more metropolitan and the Council should trust the experts.  She claims she is data driven. Not with interest rates though:  https://blnnews.com/2019/09/16/part-2-why-chemberly-isnt-fit-to-serve/

The entire discussion was useless.

The question remains:

What is the purpose of the local transit system?

Koos and Renner want everybody on the bus.  Most people will never ride because they want the freedom their own transportation provides.

Nothing will change until Koos and Renner are replaced, followed by new Board members with a realistic responsive vision.

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Normal – Part 4 Connect Transit

  1. Whether it is Connect Transit, bike sharing, Uptown, SF Building, or form based code they all have one thing in common: population control. All are necessary elements to make local liberal wet dreams come true. In a groupthink society, it is important to strip Independence and choices away from those you wish to rule. It is also necessary to have those you wish to rule in confined spaces and living pretty much similar lives. Elitists of any color will always believe they know best. In order to get non-believers in line, it is necessary to legislate behavior. Liberals know that this is the only method to get the masses in line since most are law-abiding and not prone to act violently when they don’t get their way. It’s a mind game really that liberals think they can win easily over time. Don’t think this is true? Sit in on closed door government meetings sometime.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, you have done your homework, and done it well – that is exactly what it is, and why the socialist led type cities LOVE it so much. Stacking areas with limited/controlled and/or expensive mobility mobility is their ultimate dream come true.

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  2. Let’s call the Working Group by its real name: The Obfuscation Group. It was designed to pretend that it will do something that will become part of the decision making process. The Transit Disconnect board can’t even pretend that they will listen to them. The decisions are all ready made because they KNOW that The Obfuscation Group is going to offer nothing but BS. This is all about PR and controlling the narrative. It is nothing about solving the REAL problems this system has. The entire board is corrupt and all of its corrupt members need to be forced to resign.

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  3. Nothing is done here without first being approved by the BN Elitist Clique. They are here to make sure the community is transformed into their own image and likeness. All political or policy affiliations are phoney and are only for public consumption to keep the cruel joke ongoing. Decisions are made at private lunch meetings, golf outings or at the club of choice. Nothing gets by the Clique.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are 100% correct, and also, as Diane noted, NOTHING will change until Renner and Koos are replaced by people are not like them – and the councils must also be completely overhauled leaving only the bare few who are not full blown leftist elites. This COULD happen if only people would understand how important local politics is and VOTE, AFTER becoming truly informed that is.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. “Koos and Renner want everybody on the bus. Most people will never ride because they want the freedom their own transportation provides.”
    These two, and their comrades, hate Freedom for us. That’s their motivation and their objective. They’ve been tasked with transforming BN and they’re well on the way.

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  5. Last thing I’m going to do during the cold and flu season is ride a bus. Being around a bunch of people, coughing and sneezing,,,no way. Morons.

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  6. So Koos wants everyone to ride buses? Then its time to close his business and quit selling bikes. Also I dare both city councils to ride the busses instead of using their vehicles that they get compensation for!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No one has told the director about any issues? LIE! I emailed them several times and got a form response saying go to hell taxpayer! We do what we want! If the idiot at Disconnect would have gone to the VFW meeting maybe he would have learned something.

    Liked by 1 person

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