3 Things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Don’t forget Tri-Valley is raising property taxes 5 days before Christmas: 2) Bloomington had planned to meet tonight and next Monday to avoid Christmas. Tonight’s meeting has been canceled. Maybe raising taxes 2 meetings in a row had the alderman’s phone ringing too much. I wonder if next Monday Gleason will […]

Want to know a secret?

By: Diane Benjamin You already know it if you read this story: https://blnnews.com/2023/11/29/connect-transit-wants-you-to-love-them/ The whole messaging campaign is supposed to be a secret until they develop some slogan EVERYONE can repeat over and over and over. They want a planned rollout. I bet you can’t wait to see how they counter all the “disinformation”. (like […]

Connect Transit wants you to love them

By: Diane Benjamin Remember yesterday’s story where I told you the next Bloomington City Manager and Council can take the extra “enhanced revenue” and use it for things this Council didn’t pass? In other words, new people ignore what previous people did. The Connect Transit Board meeting last night proved that. The new General Manager […]

Connect Transit has secrets

By: Diane Benjamin The agenda for meetings has to be posted 48 hours in advance – Open Meetings Act. Maybe everyone is taking time off, but the agenda for the 11/28 meeting is posted now. That is at least a week early: https://connect-transit.com/file/1982/11%2028%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Here is just one of likely many secrets: The secret is the […]

Facts Connect Transit used to buy Proterra buses

By: Diane Benjamin At this week’s meeting it was mentioned that Champaign is trying hydrogen buses. It was mentioned Connect Transit might go that direction when they need more buses. Of course that would require different infrastructure. It would have been a lot easier to keep diesel buses and a lot faster to refuel them. […]

Connect Transit aired an Executive Session

By: Diane Benjamin Last month the Connect Transit Board had an Executive Session to discuss the performance of the General Manager. It wasn’t an in depth discussion, they just set the parameters used to give him more money. Judy Buchanan wanted to make sure the salaries of area managers were included, every board uses them […]

More on Proterra buses (oops)

By: Diane Benjamin New article from Wyoming: https://dailycaller.com/2023/09/27/electric-bus-proterra-bankrupt-wyoming-teton-operation/ Connect Transit bought Proterra buses even though there was plenty of evidence other cities had problems with them, some abandoned them. In June CT bought $7,507.10 in parts from Proterra. In July they bought $3,799.64 more. In August they spent $1,334.80 on parts and tools. Keep in […]

Empty buses – the proof:

By: Diane Benjamin Documentation for yesterday’s meeting: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/1782/09%2026%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Since June was their year-end, reporting was delayed. The TOTAL OPERATING DEFICIT for last fiscal year was: $15,360,045 June loss: PDF page 8 July loss: PDF page 14 August loss: PDF page 20 June TOTAL income: $112,061 July TOTAL income: $93,493 August TOTAL income: $153,627 The moral […]

Your tax money abused!

By: Diane Benjamin Connect transit is tired of people noticing the empty or close to empty buses roaming Bloomington-Normal so they fixed the problem. Check out of the new electric buses. h/t a reader They’ve gone from darkened windows to covering them completely. We still know the bus is mostly empty. CT didn’t have a […]

Did Connect Transit throw away $9 million?

By: Diane Benjamin I was shocked when Connect Transit picked Proterra as their electric bus supplier. It appears the Board members appointed by the mayors of Bloomington and Normal didn’t bother to do a simple Google search. Plenty of stories were easily available detailing the problems with these buses and cities that quit using them […]

Connect Transit EV bus supplier declares bankruptcy

By: Diane Benjamin Have you noticed CT is “wrapping” the bus windows so you can’t see the bus it 99% empty? In May Connect Transit wrote Proterra a check for $3,524,229 for more electric buses. I hope they were delivered because Proterra declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy 2 days ago. Good luck getting parts! Proterra is […]

Get the Connect Transit Party started!

By: Diane Benjamin I never got around to reporting May 2023 numbers. June is year-end so that loss isn’t available yet. May report: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/1590/06%2027%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf $3,524,229 for more electric buses! Operating deficit was $1,261,135. (new buses not included) May 2023 Total Fixed Route Ridership: 146,647. Year to Date riders are up 18.36% Don’t get excited. Compare […]

The Regional Planning report

By: Diane Benjamin The McLean County Regional Planning Commission issued a report last October – 311 pages. Connect Transit will be here forever because these people think it is an essential service. Losing $1.2 million every month isn’t a problem since the Feds and State cover most of it. See the history on PDF page […]

Bloomington unloads Market Street Garage

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has wanted to destroy the Market Street Garage since at least 2018. Remember when the Downtown Task Force recommended moving the library there? https://blnnews.com/2018/10/16/library-expansion-sinks-water-park-doesnt/ Tonight documents – PDF page 246: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/258aad0d-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-791fe512-602c-4d20-98c8-ecdbbed39134-1682127141.pdf The documentation doesn’t say why the old Pantagraph property didn’t work. It was February of 2021 when […]

Bloomington’s torturous meeting

By: Diane Benjamin I keep forgetting to mention the City has a new website. It is much more functional, content remains to be seen. The last one was impossible to search quickly for the information wanted. See 2:19:56. Bloomington already has it’s second Deputy City Manager. Corporate Council Jeff Jurgens is taking the job. Tim […]

Too Much Hilarity: Connect Transit

By: Diane Benjamin March 28, 2023 meeting: https://www.connect-transit.com/file/1222/03%2028%202023_BoT%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Connect had an operating deficit in March of $1,231,478. Every Fixed Route passenger was subsidized $5.13, celebrate though! February was $6.23. Every ride on Mobility was subsidized $34.75. Celebrate again because in February it was $34.90. Read the Congressional Update starting on page 13. It details the […]

Normal Funds Connect Transit with advertising

By: Diane Benjamin Your tax dollars in Normal are paying for advertising on Connect Transit buses. Connect shows advertising revenue when this is merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe we can get to a point where government funds other government instead of fleecing citizens! Just keep passing around the same bucks. Connect […]

Connect Transit – More riders, huge loss

By: Diane Benjamin Total Revenue: Bigger loss: Not included in this loss are new electric buses: Fixed route ridership is up: Mobility ridership is up: See PDF pages 17-24 for a list of all bills pending in Springfield as reported by Cornerstone Government Affairs who was hired by Connect Transit to track them. If you […]

Bloomington: $31.5 Trillion in debt is immaterial

By: Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll: https://www.bloomingtonil.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28905/638096498401870000 806 Employees, remember when the City had 650? Maybe shows aren’t booked because you have to pay up first? Your cost for empty buses: Agenda: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/257b0a83-7d4f-11ed-9024-0050569183fa-a809f54d-d2d4-4538-9941-6f673252daac-1674252308.pdf National debt is now $31.5 trillion. That doesn’t include all the unfunded liabilities that can never be paid. Our national security is […]

3 more things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Steve Suess is no longer at Cities 92.9. He’s exploring other opportunities. BIG LOSS to Sunday afternoons, guest host spots, and election coverage. ­čś▓ 2) State Farm is selling employees: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230112005620/en/HCLTech-to-Modernize-IT-Operations-for-State-Farm%C2%AE Sources tell me these are 1st and 2nd level support and claims help desk staff. Most are already working remotely. […]

Follow-up to THREE stories

By: Diane Benjamin 1) Follow-up to Chris Koos’ nomination to the Amtrak Board: https://blnnews.com/2022/09/08/koos-finally-got-a-hearing-in-the-senate/ The Senate will run out of time to get Koos on the Amtrak Board. See this story: https://www.railpassengers.org/happening-now/news/blog/amtrak-board-nominees-left-in-limbo/ Excerpt, this happened 12/7/2022: Dickie Durbin has nominated Koos twice and failed both times to put him on the Amtrak Board. I’d either […]

Three things you need to know

By: Diane Benjamin Town of Normal cancelled Monday’s meeting: No reason given. Maybe they are afraid of Public Comment after the last meeting’s staged lunacy! In case you missed it: https://blnnews.com/2022/12/06/normal-really-doesnt-want-citizens-interfering-in-their-playground/ FYI: Town offices will be closed on the 23rd and the 26th for Christmas. See the calendar here: https://www.normalil.gov/calendar.aspx?view=list&year=2022&month=12&day=23 Remember how Connect Transit buses […]

FOIA from Connect Transit results

By: Diane Benjamin I filed a FOIA request because of the huge entries last month for travel and meetings: ÔÇťReceipts for the $8775.00 to APTA for travel and meetings on the September 2022 disbursements ┬áReceipts for the $677.70 paid to Dave White for travel and meetings on the same list ┬áReceipts for the $3866.53 charged […]

Good News: Connect Transit is losing less than they budgeted

By: Diane Benjamin PDF page 7 – The budgeted loss for the year is $16,350,921. That means Connect should be losing $1,362,577 a month. In September they only lost $1,148,129. The budgeted loss increased $2,593,421 this year. See last fiscal year, PDF page 7 https://www.connect-transit.com/file/686/08%2023%202022_Board%20of%20Trustees%20Meeting%20Packet.pdf Over $13,000 was spent on Travel and Meetings, of course […]

Bloomington tonight: No celebrating the national holiday

By: Diane Benjamin Packet: https://d3n9y02raazwpg.cloudfront.net/cityblm/5a2b2632-a62d-11ec-8a90-0050569183fa-d969cfc2-89f9-4a31-922c-c0ff80c0370c-1665092714.pdf Very light agenda even though the packet is 884 pages. If you are looking for the new contract with workers at the Coliseum and BCPA it is buried on page 848. The pages after go back to water treatment plant chemical systems treatment improvements – $1,510,850. The council will approve […]

Apply at Connect Transit!

By: Diane Benjamin Bus routes are being trimmed because Connect Transit doesn’t have enough drivers. Will Bloomington and Normal be getting rebates since they aren’t getting the service they paid for? ­čśÄ https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/local-news/connect-transit-reducing-service-due-to-staffing- See the job description here: https://www.connect-transit.com/contact/careers/open-positions/position/full-time-bus-operator Read all the way down to to bottom before applying however: . . . .

Sometimes you have to laugh!

By: Diane Benjamin Guess what this is: That is a picture from a new ELECTRIC Connect Transit bus. It holds 5 gallons, enough for 1 day. When the batteries can’t supply enough heat the buses will be keeping passengers warm with fossil fuels! Now see this story, h/t a reader: https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/hybrids-evs/how-temperature-affects-electric-vehicle-range-a4873569949/?EXTKEY=YSOCIAL_FB How Temperature Affects Electric […]

MCRPC Transportation Draft Document

By: Diane Benjamin If you haven’t looked at the DRAFT Long-Range Transportation Plan yet, see it here: https://d2gfvfkk60hy7j.cloudfront.net/file/1076/09022022_DRAFT_MLRTP2050.pdf This plan is updated every 5 years and estimates needs for the next 25 years. PDF page 25 talks about Connect Transit. Some people continue to say Connect should be a Mass Transit District which means they […]

Village of Normal finally fixes what Connect Transit broke

By Diane Benjamin h/t a reader (a different reader than the one who usually sends pics) Common sense would say if a road can’t handle large buses without driving over curbs and sidewalks the route should be changed to eliminate the problem. Since there is no “common sense” associated with Connect Transit, the corner by […]