Bloomington-Normal public transportation may be getting a slight facelift with some new route restructuring.
Plans to change routing for many of the current systems were announced last month and were mostly met by Bloomington-Normal citizens with positive feedback.
“We have spoken many times about how the routes haven’t had a good review and how the community has grown, but the bus routes haven’t changed,” Connect Transit executive director Andrew Johnson said. “We are proposing revised routes to keep buses more on time and keep them out of the tight spots where it is harder for them to maneuver around town.”
However, not everyone agrees. Namely, the people who rode the Teal-J and the late night Green-A.
The late night Green-A, which many ISU students use to go downtown Bloomington on the weekend, was also originally slated to be axed. The Green A is back in place after tweaks were made, but nothing about the proposal is final.
“I love the Green-A,” ISU student Mike Kalfken said. “It is right across the street from my apartment and it allows me to go downtown responsibly and for free. If it were axed, I definitely would not go downtown as much. The money spent on transportation would start to add up.”
The reason for the change to the Teal-J was because a study revealed a low number of riders on this particular route. However, after reexamining, the numbers were higher than expected.
With enough feedback, it appears the restructuring will find a way for the Teal-J to still go to G.E. Road, where many riders said if it had not, they would lose their jobs. The Teal-J and the Green-A are making the biggest changes, but changes will also be made to the Yellow-G, Lime-I, Purple-C, Red-B, the Redbird Express Red Route and the Heartland Express.
The proposal made last month was not the first in the last year. Last fall, a similar proposal was met with animosity by the community.
“During the proposal last fall, the community, which had not been asked to provide a lot of input, said ‘we don’t want this much change this fast.’ We are going to phase in the changes we want to make and that will bring much more happiness in the community,” Johnson said.
“We still plan to look at other routes, but this first phase is running at a speed the community is more comfortable with.”
If the restructuring is approved by the board on their July 30 meeting, the changes will be intact on August 12, just as students begin returning to school at ISU and Heartland College.