April: Every ride on a bus was subsidized $4.89

By: Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit Board met back on May 24th: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/586/05%2024%202022_Board%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Of course they lost over ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Ridership from March dropped 3.31%, maybe because service hours and miles dropped – See PDF page 8. Connect Mobility ridership was down .52%, every ride on their smaller buses had a subsidy of $32.75! […]

Bus service to Rivian: $1 million

By: Diane Benjamin This won’t be the only story from the Normal Town Council meeting last night. How did employees get to Diamond Star? How did they get to Mitsubishi? Neither had bus service. Who wants bus service now? How many of those buses will be empty for the low low price of $1,000,000? General […]

Monday: American Rescue Plan Bucks

By: Diane Benjamin If you don’t know inflation is caused by the printing of money the Feds handed out across the country, see if Heartland offers a basic economics course. (Too much money chasing too few goods) Both Bloomington and Normal are meeting on Monday. Bloomington is holding a Committee of the Whole Meeting to […]

More on Normal tonight:

By: Diane Benjamin Besides handing a big raise to Pam Reece, below are a few items on the agenda. Will $8000 more cover inflation for her? https://blnnews.com/2022/04/29/bobbleheads-vote-to-raise-pam-reeces-salary/ At the April 4th Normal meeting the council approved sending $79,612.50 to Connect Transit: https://www.normalil.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4265 Tonight they will send this to the empty bus folks: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4283 Did Normal […]

Connect Transit: meeting tomorrow

By: Diane Benjamin March reports for tomorrow’s meeting: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/571/04%2026%202022_Board%20of%20Trustees%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf . Revenue: $115,067.82 Expenses: $1,131,101.01 Operating loss: $1,016,033.19 .Revenue Revenue didn’t even cover Group Health Insurance for the month: $123,949.81 Fixed Route: We don’t know how many people were counted twice because they had to change buses. Connect Mobility: Remember when I reported on “microtransit” from […]

Green believers on Bloomington council

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 […]

Both Bloomington and Normal meet tonight

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1164&Inline=True Bloomington will hear from Connect Transit tonight concerning their budget. You will hear it’s essential to lose at least $1 million a month. Next the Council will contemplate 4 Council initiatives. Brought by Jamie Mathy who is no longer on the Council. He wanted incentives from the City (your money) to […]

Survey in THREE Languages

By: Diane Benjamin The McLean County Regional Planning Commission launched a new survey you MUST take. Those who believe government solves every problem will be taking this survey. If you believe in limited government, your thoughts need to be included too. The intro says it will take 15-20 minutes, it will take that long only […]

Celebrate Electric Buses!

By: Diane Benjamin Connect Transit Board meeting yesterday: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/556/03%2022%202022_Board%20of%20Trustees%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Payment: $2,490,777 Add that to the $1,589,156 from this story: https://blnnews.com/2022/02/21/connect-transit-pays-proterra-for-electric-buses/ The total cost of 4 buses is $4,390,913. They still have $310,980 to go (unless that was sent as a deposit and I missed it) Next add $1,715,000 for solar panels. https://blnnews.com/2021/03/04/pulling-the-plug-on-electric-buses/ All this so […]

Connect Transit pays Proterra for Electric buses

By: Diane Benjamin That amount is far from what the total cost is: PDF page 26 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yp2A-6qp7zjhmjc2XVjk9RPUrY9-yDxx/view Connect thinks you don’t pay Federal or State taxes. No local funds used. (Ha!) https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/report-philadelphias-proterra-fleet-in-complete-shambles/ Excerpt: The entire fleet of Proterra buses was removed from the roads by SEPTA, the city’s transit authority, in February 2020 due to […]

Connect Transit News

By: Diane Benjamin Meeting schedules frequently change during the holidays, but Connect Transit is taking a holiday schedule to a new level: Just skip two months. Connect has reduced service because of a driver shortage. Now they are skipping November and December meetings. https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Meetings/2021%20-%20Calendar%20of%20Mtgs%20-%20CT%20Board%20FINAL.pdf The Board is planning a two day retreat in December however: […]

More proof government never fixes problems

By: Diane Benjamin I’ve done numerous stories about Connect Transit buses destroying the infrastructure at the north west corner of Portillos. It is impossible for the huge buses to make that turn without running over the curb and sidewalk. That of course crushes the concrete. The corner has been fixed but the bus route was […]

5 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Pantagraph article on the Normal Town Council meeting: https://pantagraph.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/watch-now-mural-controversy-raises-new-questions-about-disconnect-in-normal/article_9ea2ebcb-99b6-55e9-8798-76e5962bb873.html Excerpt: Did the reporter watch the meeting? A “number of people” were disrupting the meeting. Was the reporter told not to mention the only reason Public Comment was moved is because Stan Nord made a motion to let them speak? It wasn’t […]

Connect Transit Success (cough cough)

By: Diane Benjamin I never got around to reporting Connect Transit had a great year! Instead of losing the budgeted $12,825,000, they only lost $11,939,195. They saved taxpayers almost $886,000! Between regular buses and Connect Mobility ridership was down 12.4% from the previous fiscal year. Connect reports Congress is going to throw them more money […]

What Connect Transit needs to do but won’t

By: Diane Benjamin Virtually empty buses are still roaming the streets of Bloomington Normal, we all see them. If Connect Transit used the huge buses where needed and didn’t where they aren’t, they wouldn’t be losing close to a million every month and the infrastructure wouldn’t be destroyed by them. Some transit systems have figured […]

Charge for rides, rides decrease

By: Diane Benjamin No financial information is available as of 6/30/21 because it is Connect Transit’s year end. Next month we will know the loss for the year. Fares went back into affect in June, ridership on the huge buses went down. Was that because rides are no longer free? Mobility rides are up since […]

Connect Transit Tosses your money

By: Diane Benjamin Don’t forget – there is no penalty for stupid government! Participants just move on to being stupid elsewhere 2019 Story: https://blnnews.com/2019/11/16/connect-transit-empty-buses-and-brains/ BEB is Battery Electric Buses March 4, 2021 story: https://blnnews.com/2021/03/04/pulling-the-plug-on-electric-buses/ Minneapolis abandoned electric buses for biodiesel Today: https://www.westernjournal.com/california-city-bought-electric-bus-company-promoted-white-house-now-considering-scrapping-expensive-fleet-nonstop-disasters/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=conservativetribune&utm_content=2021-07-23&utm_campaign=manualpost&fbclid=IwAR2w9iJr0t2OuY09oA-K4uRCSbifA1V7dKuZ2gLx4Y2JMY0kg8IsypGYh_A Another story from today: https://djhjmedia.com/steven/california-agency-looking-to-scrap-electric-buses-because-they-melt-catch-on-fire-and-costs-a-fortune-to-repair/ Quote: One Southern California city’s test run of […]

Bloomington tonight, ridiculous

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1118&Inline=True In a perfect example of government believing individuals have no responsibility but government does: The McLean County Regional Planning Commission will make a presentation that includes this: Eliminate fatalities and life-changing injuries from our transportation system by 2030 That is the most absurd statement ever written with tax dollars. I can’t […]

Blame LaHood and Davis

Earmarks are back! Earmarks are out of control spending for petty projects locals should pay for themselves instead of asking the feds to print money for them. Democrats resurrected them when they took control of the House. https://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/columns/tom-kacich-congress-brings-back-earmarks-one-illinois-rep-isnt-on-board/article_449a248d-57e6-5943-9d76-1cea915585df.html A Champaign columnist printed the facts. Excerpts: Among those representing central Illinois, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, has […]

Connect Transit meeting today

By: Diane Benjamin Connect must be having a difficult time hiring a new General Manager. They are meeting again today in Executive Session to discuss “personnel matters”. Remember the corner by Portillos the buses can’t navigate? A reader received the email below from MARCH stating CT had contacted the Town of Normal for solutions: Nothing […]

How politics works

By: Diane Benjamin See all first quarter campaign contribution to Chris Koos here, others might surprise you: https://elections.il.gov/CampaignDisclosure/D2Quarterly.aspx?id=Z24PjB%2frtA5MTMtkHT2GVw%3d%3d&T=637544171509537959 Connect Transit will likely be announcing the new General Manager soon. They are meeting in Executive Session tomorrow for “personnel issues”. https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Meetings/AGENDA%20-%20SPECIAL%20Session%20%2004-22-2021.pdf

Pulling the Plug on Electric Buses

By: Diane Benjamin Every dollar Connect Transit spends is grant money. Where does that GRANT money come form? Tax dollars – YOU. They spent $1,715,000 on solar panels and charging infrastructure in preparation for electric buses. https://blnnews.com/2020/12/01/more-connect-transit/ Last month Connect ordered their first 4 electric buses: PDF page 26 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yp2A-6qp7zjhmjc2XVjk9RPUrY9-yDxx/view That brings the total that […]

Since Mark Peterson, Connect is even worse

By: Diane Benjamin When Connect transit was trying to decide where the downtown transfer station should be, they stated many riders use the bus to get to the Laws and Justice Center or the Library. The location they picked is the farthest from either. Buses could have dropped people where CII East is now, it’s […]

$18 million for a transfer station!

By: Diane Benjamin Obviously Connect Transit isn’t building a simply downtown transfer station with your tax dollars. Those State and Federal grants they received are TAX dollars even though that term is never used. All a transfer station needs are lanes for buses to enter and exist and some building to protect riders who are […]

Victory! 2 months in a row Connect Transit

By: Diane Benjamin The Connect Transit Board didn’t meet in December, so January 26, 2021 the Board will review November and December 2020. They finally achieved breaking through the $1,000,000 operating loss and did it both months: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pH-FJxYfLWtjHzbnh98Ge3P6El4HURHu/view November 2020: December 2020: EVERY DOLLAR for “Assistance” is money government took from somebody who earned it. […]

Is Lorenz setting you up for more taxes?

By: Diane Benjamin At Tuesday’s Normal Town Council meeting Kathleen Lorenz asked why the Intergovernmental Agreement with Connect Transit says both Bloomington and Normal are required to review the CT budget yearly. They never do, but it is in the agreement. Kathleen: Maybe because CT loses $1 MILLION a month and local taxes were raised […]

Normal: 10 minutes to 3 hours

By: Diane Benjamin Remember the good ol’ days when nobody on the Normal Town Council questioned anything? Those 10 minute meetings have turned into a “justify staff” fun fest where the formally silent must spew forth speech to squelch what they think are rumors. The Council needs to spend at least half of their time […]

Bloomington last night-Socialists were absent

By: Diane Benjamin Not wanting to vote against the Welcoming America initiative, Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill were MIA last night. Next week they will present their own Welcoming Ordinance, a parade of illegal immigration supporters will appear. Carrillo sent the below to the aldermen she thought she could influence. Her attempt failed, they all […]

Bloomignton 1/11/2021 meeting

By: Diane Benjamin https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=25694 The cost of buying a page for the financial statements keeps going up. See the page on PDF page 14: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument?id=25360 Why isn’t abolishing the Bloomington Election Commission back on the April ballot? When non-elected officials can’t be held accountable for screwing up elections they need to go. Besides, Bloomington doesn’t […]