By: Diane Benjamin
Local election are early next year. Those who think you should pay for the below need replaced:
The slide below was shown during presentation at Bloomington Council on Regeneration/Preservation of older neighborhoods. It was part of the staff presentation:
Since Hawthorne Hills doesn’t need Regeneration/Preservation, what area of the City are they looking at? Parts that can’t afford to drive EV’s? Charging stations are on the same list sewer and water? Notice what’s not on the list: ROADS?
Failing to vote in local elections gets you representation without common sense. Keep it up Bloomington, the leftists on the Council want all vehicles electric – at your expense. The technology isn’t ready, Rivian just announced battery availability will hurt production.
The four Council initiatives were presented by staff who were charged with spending time investigating each. See 1:00:30. All four might never see light since staff claimed plans are already in place. That means they will either die behind closed doors or parts will be brought back to Council in a different form. If you forgot what the 4 were: https://blnnews.com/2022/04/18/both-bloomington-and-normal-meet-tonight/
The majority of the meeting was a budget presentation by Connect Connect. The new General Manager, David Braun, did most of the presentation. He started off stating the new budget was “zero based” meaning they started from scratch instead of just adding some percent to every expense. He also is not asking for more local money. Good start!
I heard a story third hand from a bus driver. Many days he has less than 5 riders – the entire day. To increase ridership Connect wants to run Micro-Transit in neighborhoods the buses can’t run. It sounds like vans would be running around town waiting for calls, pick people up, and transporting them to where they can catch a bus. Also Connect will be leasing 3 buses so they can start running routes to Rivian. They have to lease because it will take four buses and they only have 1 available.
Connect is still reporting trips instead of actual passengers. If a person has to transfer to another bus they are counted as 2 trips. Heading home is two more. The actual number of riders that aren’t kids riding across the ISU campus would provide a better number and the real need for losing $1 million a month.
Connect has another new program – see 14:40. Braun claimed 35,000 people commute to Bloomington-Normal to work. The idea is a Vanpool program. The goal is to provide transportation to people with limited options. It appears the process would start with Connect via a website where people could sign up for the program. When at least 4 people with similar origins and destinations are matched the process is turned over to another company. A vehicle would be provided, one person would volunteer to drive. That person gets to use the vehicle for other purposes too. This slide at 17:08 shows why they want to start this program:
The program wouldn’t be free for riders. Possibly employers would cover the cost to get employees. The last line of the slide speaks volumes.
The slide at 19:30 shows expected expenses. Fuel costs are 81% higher. Utilities are 31% higher. Bloomington taxpayers will fork over $760,000, Normal $590,000 just in operating expenses.
Connect may be partnering with Bloomington in replacing the Market Street parking garage. At 27:30 economic impact numbers were presented. We’ve seen those many times – made up numbers to make themselves look good. At 31:45 Alderman Donna Boelen disputed those numbers. 😁
The leftists on the Council think they can force you to ride the bus. They can’t. They also can’t force you to drive an EV – just refuse.