Connect Transit: Empty Buses and Brains

By:  Diane Benjamin

After NOT posting the Agenda for today’s meeting 48 hours in advance as required by the Open Meetings Act (LAW!), yesterday Connect moved the meeting and thought people would magically know:

work group change

No surprise, they didn’t have enough people for a quorum, some members of the public went to the wrong place and were late, but everybody decided to sit around a talk anyway.  They didn’t vote or make any decisions however.

It looks like Connect Transit is now advertising  downtown – on the north side of the Coliseum:

2.3 million

Sorry the sign was of course in the shade making a good pic difficult.

I wonder where all those people were hiding?  All most people see are empty buses!

Government paying government once again to advertise!

Connect decided to buy Proterra electric buses.  This is a very long article that discusses the problems with electric buses, it is from January of 2019.

(BEB = Battery Electric Buses)

(IMC = In Motion Charging)

Electric struggles both when it’s too hot and too cold – read the story!

The end sums it up:



9 thoughts on “Connect Transit: Empty Buses and Brains

  1. Isaac Thorne was on Cities 92.9 with Scott Robbins a few weeks back. He was asked about the empty buses. He stated that you most likely will see buses empty because the pick up and drop off so frequently. How is that for some spin.

    1. Which means for those routes, we need smaller buses, hourly routes instead of half-hourly, or perhaps both.
      CT needs to clarify, or at least officially prioritize, its mission goals. They can keep their official, feel-good, everything-to-everybody statement, but what do they think that means in practice?
      This list is not intended imply priority, current or recommended, just stream of thought:
      1 – Save the world from cars and fossil-fuel buses
      2 – Virtue signal to virtue-signalling college prospects to come here and spend money
      3 – Provide transportation to general community members who need it
      4 – Provide transportation to students so they can get by without a car
      5 – Provide salaries, benefits, and/or resume boosters to political cronies
      6 – Suck as much grant and subsidy money out of the state and feds as possible
      7 – Provide a bus schedule that a grade-schooler can easily understand
      8 – Destroy roads and curbs, creating additional jobs for relevant workers
      9 – Other goal(s) or policy(s) that I haven’t included here

      Right now it’s hard to tell anything other than #3 is near the bottom, a ranking most people object to. If they could admit and try to justify whatever their true priority list is, it might cut back on criticism or facilitate more useful, targeted calls for improvement. (Though many would say the are actively seeking to avoid the latter, so they purposely Don’t and Won’t make their true priorities known…)

      So what is it, CT? We know you or your proxies read this, so tell us!

    2. Haha! So, essentially, Isaac Thorne (in the taxpayer’s side) admitted that Connect Transit is extremely inefficient. Multiple stops and empty buses driving around…sounds like a well-oiled machine, Isaac! His failure to deny that the buses are constantly empty is quite telling on its own, but this spin is rich.

  2. Connect Transit is acting very defensive lately. How desperate does that ad on the arena sound?! The taxpayers and some in government (i.e. Stan) are shining a light on the disaster that is Connect Transit. These cronies are trying desperately to justify their existence. We all know Connect Transit operates for the benefit of those it employs. I can’t wait to see what happens when federal funding runs out. Fingers crossed.

  3. The 2.8 annual ride number is an out and out lie and they know it. For this to be true, over 7,600 rides would have to be conducted each and every day of the year which is not happening. Yes, I know what they consider a ride and that is BS too. If you or I we’re running a business and it was losing 800,000 to 900,000 every month, we would be immediately fired for gross incompetence.

  4. One of the workgroup members called out Mike McCurdy for repeating to the Normal Council “if you over serve the transit dependent you will attract choice riders”.

    Connect has removed service from many trailer parks and low income areas in Bloomington and Normal.

    So did McCurdy’s statement mean:

    A.) CT is already over serving transit dependent?

    B.) he agrees CT should start serving these transit dependent pockets?

    During public comment comment, Stan Nord called out the CT board for filtering out emails from the public intended for the workgroup and telling the Normal council that CT knew of no formal request for service petition from the residents of the Landings Mobile Home Park or Midwest Food Bank.

    I talked to Stan to confirm this, he said there is a petition for the Landings and a video of dropping it off and a long list of emails he has with CT following up on that petition. He said Midwest Food Bank execs have sent emails requesting service and have a fb video ask – These videos are on the NordforNormal fb page.

    Stan also asked the workgroup not to get desensitized by the data and forget about the human element and why B/N has a public transit system in the first place.

    That CT puts formalities over citizen intent speaks volumes about what value they put on public input.

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