© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Connect Transit unveils work commuter ride-share program

Connect Transit sign in front of its headquarters
Eric Stock
Connect Transit plans to host six community engagements sessions to get feedback on proposed changes to its Sapphire Route.

Connect Transit is partnering with rental car company Enterprise to provide a new option for employees in Bloomington-Normal to get to work.

Commute with Connect is a van rental program for groups of four to 10 riders to carpool in a van provided by Enterprise. The groups are matched by the time of their shifts, as well as by their relative location to each other.

David Braun will become the new General Manager of Connect Transit in August.
Connect Transit
David Braun will become the new General Manager of Connect Transit in August.

The service is designed for employees who work in Bloomington-Normal, but live outside the community, said Connect General Manager David Braun. The Bloomington-Normal area has among the lowest unemployment rates in Illinois, and many employers in the area are looking to neighboring communities for workers, he noted.

“Not only will our employers thrive, but their communities will thrive with the money they are making here,” Braun said. “It’s a great thing all around.”

Each van costs about $1,200 per month, but Braun said the company is able to use federal grant money to subsidize about $500 per month, leaving the renting group to pay $700 out of pocket, as well as the cost of gas, split among the participants. Along with the van, Enterprise also provides the insurance and maintenance for the vehicle.

“This provides a convenient way for people to get into Bloomington-Normal to work, it provides access to people who might not have a reliable vehicle to come to the good jobs here in this community, it bolsters not only our community but other communities around us where these people live,” Brain said.

Connect Transit plans to launch its new app, Microtransit, later this spring. Microtransit is designed to bring riders from their neighborhoods to established Connect bus routes.

Riders can visit connect-transit.com for more information and to find the portal to sign up.

Erik Dedo is a reporting and audio production intern at WGLT. He joined the station in 2022.