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State Gives Planning Money To Connect Transit Downtown Transfer Center

Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit
The Uptown Station transfer center could eventually be mirrored in downtown Bloomington.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is giving Bloomington-Normal's bus system $250,000.

Connect Transit will use the money to do a feasibility study and architecture and engineering work on a downtown Bloomington transfer center. The study will review potential sites in the downtown area.

Connect Transit General Manager Isaac Thorne said he is excited.

"Conducting a feasibility study is the first step in a long process to eventually build a downtown transfer center," said Thorne.

In a release, Connect Transit acknowledged help from area lawmakers in getting the grant.

“This study is an important first step in improving our transit infrastructure, which in turn will benefit our residents and boost our local economy,” said state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.

“This grant will help produce the most cost-efficient and reliable means of public transportation for the many citizens who rely on public transportation for work, school and other transportation needs,” said state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.

A transfer center request for federal funds is also in the upcoming One Voice community lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council CEO Kyle Ham told GLT this week the project is less advanced than others, but will benefit from repeated exposure to federal transportation officials over a period of years.

Editor's note: GLT Program Director Mike McCurdy is chair of the Connect Transit board.

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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