|Connect Transit collecting opinions on service gaps|
|Written by Tim Rosenberger, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 02 December 2012 14:57|
Bloomington-Normal’s Connect Transit has increased their communication with the town and city, as well as residents to help determine how to properly plan future route changes and fix service gap problems.
Residents recently complained about issues, such as poor lighting and nonexistent sidewalks, during public hearings meant to gather opinions about a route restructuring proposal.
“There are several areas of the community that have all the amenities that the passengers want,” Andrew Johnson, the transit system’s general manager, said.
“It’s just infrastructure over time breaks down, and in some cases in newer areas or areas in the outskirts there may not be the amenities [or] the infrastructure that growing population densities are going to be requiring,” Johnson added.
Both Bloomington and Normal have a limited yearly budget to add lighting and repair and update sidewalks, he added.
“So we’re taking a look at what they have in the pipeline and seeing if they’re going to be able to take a look and address some of those issues now or if it’s going to be a couple years in the future,” Johnson said.
According to an article in the Pantagraph, David Hales, Bloomington city manager, said promises could not be made about how much money could be spent on the service gap issues.
Hales said the city is beginning with awareness and what is needed, according to the Pantagraph.
Most of the service gaps, Johnson said, were on the outskirts of Bloomington and Normal and the older parts of Bloomington.
The purpose of the route restructuring was to change how buses got to their destinations and to break up long routes into multiple routes in order to provide 30-minute service for Blo-No.
The route reconstruction was proposed in the way it was because it would let the transit system distribute their current buses without adding any or spending more money on changing route frequency, Johnson said.
“A route that may not be performing to the level that we want it to be performing could be viewed by certain people who ride or people who might be thinking about riding as inconvenient and, as such, people won’t ride them,” Johnson added.
Bad routes also cause areas to not be as accessible as they could be, Johnson said.
The route proposal was originally supposed to be effective by January but was delayed after public outcries against the proposal came to the attention of the transit system.
After the first of next year, Connect Transit plans on having listening sessions in order to hear more about what people want out of the transit system.
Following the sessions, a revised restructuring proposal will be written. Then there will be open houses where people can ask questions and give some comments.
Connect Transit will then propose a final draft at a public hearing where the board of trustees will possibly vote on it.