By: Diane Benjamin
One bit of new information: Connect Transit does track transfers even though they aren’t reported anywhere. Mike McCurdy stated transfers aren’t up when he appeared at a Normal Town Council meeting, so I FOIA’d that info per month. I got this:
This is one step closer to finding out exactly how many people ride a month – subtract the above from what Connect Transit reports since each transfer counts as two rides on their reports.
The average Connect Transit rider is charged $1 a ride. Connect proposed raising that amount which caused fury for those who are transit dependent.
How much are Heartland and ISU paying to Connect Transit?
ISU pays a flat amount every month – this bill was received by FOIA:
Connect Transit sends ISU a monthly report on the number of users. The number varies from month to month. I referenced these reports previously: https://blnnews.com/2019/04/25/connect-transit-and-isu-facts/
I picked February at random, ISU only paid .57 per ride. During the summer the cost went to $4.99 a ride – the average for the 9 months listed was .80 a ride.
Heartland has a different deal. They pay a flat amount each month and then are billed quarterly for overages.
Last year Heartland was paying .70 for each overage:
This year Heartland is paying .75.
Without more FOIA requests I don’t know the rate of the flat amount they pay. I think it is likely the same as the overage rate – .75.
Monthly Heartland pays:
At .75 each, this amounts to 9,583 rides a month. Since the overages are billed quarterly, determining the exact number of riders per month still isn’t possible.
Why do the colleges get a discount?
Since students are a large part of total ridership, why aren’t they paying their fair share?
The Transit Dependent have to subsidize students? Isn’t it bad enough the rest of us subsidize them too?