|Blo-No group looks to change bus routes|
|Written by Dan Fox, Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 12 February 2013 18:43|
A Bloomington-Normal watchdog group is seeking to work with Connect Transit in order to adjust bus routes.
Connect Transit made a proposal to adjust the bus routes, and the proposed routes, which were centralized around the middle of the Bloomington-Normal, would have cut-off large sections of town, Charles Smith, organizer of Citizens to Ensure Fair Transit (CEFT), said.
“People would have been stranded at places like The Landing, and trailer-parks out towards the edge of the town,” Smith said.
They had proposed for smaller vehicles to go out to old sites and pick-up people and take them to new transfer areas, Smith said.
The problem was with the current special services program at Connect Transit, which was having issues in the first place. If they had introduced the new program it would have eroded the system.
Smith said when people went to the hearings about the new system their questions were not adequately answered, and this made citizens angry about the way the hearings were held That is why they decided to start the advocacy group, CEFT.
“We felt that the original proposals were horrible,” Smith said. “We felt there was a disconnect between Connect Transit, Bloomington-Normal Transit and the community.”
They [CEFT] want the transit systems to base any changes off of the current routes, instead of tearing the whole old system down, Smith said.
“If they are willing to work with us, we are willing to work with them,” Smith said.
Right now, the original proposals are on hold, while they take a closer look at some of the community concerns, Dave White, training/safety director at Connect Transit, said.
They want to “streamline” the service because a lot of the bus routes they have tend to run late during the day, and they want to address the issues by making the routes more efficient, White explained.
They went into the proposal planning to use the same number of busses they did a year ago, because funding is always an issue when it comes to getting new busses, White said.
“Even when you have the funding available, once you place the order it can take anywhere from a year to 18 months to get the busses produced and then shipped to the property,” White added.
There will be listening sessions, starting later this month, where the community will have a chance to voice their opinions.
The Citizens to Ensure Fair Transit will be meeting at 4 p.m. Friday, in the Life Center for Independent Living, located at 2201 Eastland Drive, Suite 1 in Bloomington.