Connect Transit Temporarily Reducing Service Beginning March 23rd

https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp Evidently nobody has to approve this: From the Connect Transit website: https://www.connect-transit.com/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=392&TargetID=1,2,3,7,8,6,11,12,13,14,5,15,16,4,17,18,19 Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, Connect Transit will reduce weekday bus frequency to weekend levels. Connect will reduce service to be more in line with current ridership and it will provide flexibility in staffing and increased levels of bus and facility cleaning. […]

Why isn’t Connect Transit shut down?

By:  Diane Benjamin Events all over Bloomington-Normal are cancelled because of the Wuhan Corona Virus.  The BCPA cancelled shows through August 12th.  Taxpayers are likely cheering that one, months of no money losing shows!  Are the employees going to be laid off until then? WEEK compiled a Bloomington list:  https://week.com/2020/03/12/bloomington-shuts-down-bcpa-calls-off-arena-events-due-to-covid-19/ Connect Transit still transports people […]

The ridiculous cost of buses

By:  Diane Benjamin February packet:  https://www.connect-transit.com/documents/Februrary%202020%20CT%20Board%20Packet%20V2.pdf Let’s look at Connect Transit a different way. PDF page 22 claims in January Connect Transit had 204,683 fixed route passengers PDF page 8 says passenger fares were $52,882.80.  The only way to have 204,683 riders is to have 75% of all riders not paying – either Medicaid, ISU, […]

Connect Transit Investigated

By:  Diane Benjamin The Illinois Human Rights Authority investigated complaints filed against Connect Transit. See the charges and conclusions here:    https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/HRA/HRAReports/Connect%20Transit%20PUBLIC%20FINAL%20report.pdf The first complaint was:  Lack of ADA accessible bus stops for riders with a disability The Human Rights Authority found this charge violated The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (28 CFR 35) and […]

CT Working Group meeting tomorrow

By:  Diane Benjamin The dates and locations seem to keep changing.  Is Connect trying to keep the public from showing up? I hear the consultant won’t be there, did they get fired?  I’m told Julie Hile will be leading, leading to where the Town of Normal and Connect Transit want the discussion to end up? […]

CIRBN continues – questions aren’t allowed + Normal tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3494 The Wild Country lease will automatically renew in January, the operators just pay taxes, maintenance, and insurance.  Taxpayers make nothing.  No council vote required. I haven’t seen anything saying the sweet deal Terri Ryburn got for the Pine St gas station ever has to be renewed either. There are more – […]

Bloomington recap 11/18/19

By:  Diane Benjamin Two council members were absent:  Joni Painter and Kimberly Bray Connect Transit’s Judy Buchanan didn’t show up.  The presentation was cancelled “due to illness”. Side Note: WGLT reported only 6 members out of 13 attended the illegal Saturday meeting – they discussed items for almost 4 hours anyway:  https://www.wglt.org/connect-transit-likely-delay-fare-increase-again-awaits-working-group-report How much of […]

Bloomington Tonight – Committee of the Whole

By:  Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1045&Inline=True Dimmitt’s Grove planning will be discussed  If you own property there, pay attention.  Government planning is inflexible and usually steals property rights. This paragraph is included:  Connect Transit must not have room on the empty buses to drop residents off  at any of the grocery stores to the east, northeast, or […]

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:    https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/cttf_working_group/agendas.asp No surprise, they didn’t have enough people for a quorum, some members of the public went to the wrong […]

Do electric buses work in the cold?

By:  Diane Benjamin In Indianapolis their electric buses started losing the charge when the temperature got below 50 degrees! See this story:  https://www.theindychannel.com//indygo-electric-buses-having-battery-problems-cant-handle-the-cold Excerpts from TODAY’s story: INDIANAPOLIS — The IndyGo electric buses are already showing signs of trouble as the temperatures plunge. It’s a problem Call 6 Investigates first exposed in March, and now it’s happening. […]

Update: Connect Transit’s other vehicles

I have been told the Chevrolet Braun should have been a 2018 Dodge Caravan.  The cost wasn’t included, just this: By:  Diane Benjamin Besides the 39 fixed route buses and 18 Mobility buses, Connect Transit owns other vehicles.  I received this information by FOIA. Fleet info:  https://www.connect-transit.com/about/our_fleet.asp The 4 vehicles they bought this year replaced […]

Discount Connect Transit rides

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 […]

Normal – Part 4 Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin This will be the final story documenting the Normal council meeting held on 10/7/2019 See the other parts here – they all tie together: https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-1/ https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-2/ https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-3/ The Connect Transit problem is now clear.  The Board, appointed by both mayors, has a mission that doesn’t align with what taxpayers expect a transit […]

Tiritillli Public Comment found + another sports complex

By:  Diane Benjamin As reported in this story, the Public Comment by Marc Tiritilli was cut from the posted video at the 9/30/2019 joint meeting of the McLean County Board, Town of Normal, and Bloomington City Council:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/07/comment-cut-from-video-tiritilli/ I filed a FOIA Request with Bloomington since they had posted the rest of the video.  It […]

The Normal circus last night – Part 3

By:  Diane Benjamin Part 1:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-1/ Part 2:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/08/the-normal-circus-last-night-part-2/ Most of the Connect Transit discussion will be in Part 4.  (likely tomorrow!)  Two points needs clarifying first: 3:07:00 – Karyn Smith stated at the last meeting Kevin McCarthy said if there was a choice between a full fare rider and one that is subsidized of […]

See what Normal is up to NOW!

By:  Diane Benjamin http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3430 Payments you aren’t supposed to question: Why was Koos spending a lot of money in DC? Neither of the claims paid below are to the person in this story: https://blnnews.com/2019/10/02/normal-has-your-vehicle-been-damaged-by-the-roads/ Like “free” entertainment? Yes, the artist is a very talented relative and good friend of Chris Koos.  I’ve seen her maybe […]

More Connect Transit emails

By:  Diane Benjamin Below are random emails.  click on to enlarge if needed. The last 3 people copied are employees of Smart Growth America. The Working Group has some members who “will be unable to correct”.  Some probably thought the Working Group was created to fix their issues. More of the same – the consultant, […]

The Connect Transit Disconnect: emails

By:  Diane Benjamin We know Connect Transit had plans to buy huge electric buses regardless of what the Working Group reported about the size of buses needed:  https://blnnews.com/2019/09/27/proof-the-working-group-is-a-joke/ We know Connect Transit fabricated a response in order to delay my FOIA request:    https://blnnews.com/2019/09/27/more-proof-connect-transit-shouldnt-exist/ I did receive the FOIA last Friday, 633 pages of the […]

More proof Connect Transit shouldn’t exist

By:  Diane Benjamin We’ve all seen the empty buses We’ve all seen the inflated ridership numbers We’ve all seen them ignore pleas from people they should be serving. We’ve all seen the huge buses damaging infrastructure It’s obvious they don’t care about anything except their agenda. The agenda we see is to take as much […]

Connect Transit fails FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin On August 29th I filed a FOIA request with Connect Transit: Smart Growth America is the “facilitator” they hired for the Working Group in June of 2019.  See this WGLT story – $53,000  https://www.wglt.org/post/connect-transit-board-modifies-pink-route-hires-facilitator#stream/0 First Response to the FOIA: The due date of September 6th was extended 5 days. Next I got […]

Connect Transit: Huge losses

By:  Diane Benjamin Link to tonight’s meeting packet:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VnNpRDPK7mbHSOgI1fZO2yfmT4yioSrR/view Loss for the month of August: Boarders per hour: Yes, less riders.  In August of last year they lost $953,797.79.   With a couple hundred thousand more riders they might break even.  They will have to be imported however. Cost per trip in August was $4.01, down […]

Ah . . Public Comment

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal Town Council last night: First to speak was Craig Stimpert. (4:27) The topic was pensions funding and the constant raising of property taxes to fund them.  Craig called this Town practice unsustainable.  The Town uses property taxes because they refuse to make pension funding part of the budget.   He called out […]