Connect Transit | WGLT

Connect Transit

Connect Transit buses
Staff / WGLT

Economic developers in McLean County have created a wish list of four projects to seek federal funding.

Connect Transit
Staff / WGLT

Connect Transit riders could soon be paying higher fares to take the bus.

Connect Transit buses
Staff / WGLT

As the federal government shutdown continues, Connect Transit is dipping into its reserves to continue operations.

Show Bus vehicle
Show Bus

UPDATED 3 p.m. | Central Illinois transit and social service agencies say they hope the state will pull back from burdensome new requirements that some fear will prevent low-income and disabled patients from reaching their medical appointments.

Buses
Staff / WGLT

Children’s Home and Aid along with Connect Transit and various community organizations kick off the 16th annual Stuff The Bus event next week.

Main Street in Normal
Eric Stock / WGLT

Editor’s note: This story is part of a special episode of GLT’s Sound Ideas focused entirely on autonomous driving. It aired Nov. 21. Read more stories in the series.

Government planners believe autonomous vehicles can reshape communities in ways we’ve never seen before. But the fledgling technology creates a challenge for those planners because driverless cars still pose far more questions than answers. 

Jane, Rodney, and Darin
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The federal government’s top mass transit official stopped in Bloomington on Friday to tout $12 million in grants won by Connect Transit and other Illinois agencies which she says will help chip away at the country’s aging fleet of buses.

Connect Transit

Bloomington Normal's bus system could have a downtown Bloomington transfer center in about five years.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Normal residents and Illinois State University students are putting their lives at risk to get around stopped freight trains in Uptown. Despite concerns reported to the freight operator, it could take a while to see a change in train traffic.

Rodney Davis speaks at podium
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal’s transit system will receive a $6 million federal grant to buy electric buses and support construction of a new downtown transfer center, officials announced Thursday.

Connect Transit Board of Trustees
Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal’s public transportation service plans to extend its more popular bus routes later at night to improve access in a move that officials say won’t cost the service any additional money.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A potential Connect Transit transfer center in Downtown Bloomington is still on the table.

Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit

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

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Some members of the Connect Transit board are taking their chair to task for pushing a meeting with the Bloomington City Council that backfired and potentially damaged the case for a bus transfer station in downtown Bloomington.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Three government bodies met jointly Tuesday night to nudge forward an ambitious plan to build a new library and transit center in downtown Bloomington, even as several officials noted a lack of public buy-in as one major hurdle to the effort.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday he’s put a controversial joint meeting back on the calendar for next week, rejecting a push by some aldermen to forgo a deeper discussion on a proposed downtown library-transit project.

Cindy Le / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will talk about the controversial downtown catalyst project with the Bloomington Public Library and Connect Transit boards next month.

Staff / WGLT

Local transit officials say route changes, new shelters, and even an app are all helping drive a significant increase in ridership this year on Bloomington-Normal’s bus system.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

It's official: Bloomington-Normal's Connect Transit has hired a general manager.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Connect Transit plans to hire its interim general manager as its next general manager.

Rodney Davis speaks at podium
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Connect Transit will receive a $1.5 million federal grant to buy zero-emission battery electric buses and install solar panels at its maintenance facility.

Baylee Steelman/WGLT

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Sept. 4-8, 2017) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Looking for a big “catalyst” project to lure more people to downtown Bloomington, members of a city task force expressed support Tuesday for a plan to knock down an old parking garage and build a new library and public transit transfer center in its place.

Staff / WGLT

Waiting at a bus stop in the near future could be easier with the addition of new bus shelters in Bloomington-Normal.

Connect Transit made progress at Tuesday’s meeting with the plan to build 10 new shelters this fall. Community engagement sessions highlighted the public desire for shelters, benches, and additional sidewalk at bus stops in the area.

Connect Transit chose locations based on the number of riders at each bus stop location.

Staff / WGLT

A Connect Transit cut in services to some people with disabilities is getting some pushback.

Connect Transit recently eliminated tripper service to some edge-of-town housing. This had the effect of reducing the area the government mandates the system serve with Connect Mobility, a service for those with physical access challenges.

Staff / WGLT

Connect Transit will host community education sessions in the coming weeks before several cost-cutting route changes and a new Connect Mobile premium service go into effect.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit expects up to a 7 percent increase in use of its Connect Mobility service next month. That's because the YWCA is shutting down its Medivan program.

The YWCA made that choice because state funding was unreliable and the program was on pace to operate at a $120,000 per year deficit.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit in Bloomington Normal is facing a problem, an aging fleet of busses and capital money tied up in operations because the state isn't paying its share. Isaac Thorne is the Interim General Manager for the bus system.

"The majority of our busses are 2004, 2005 busses. And we have eight 1998s. We hope we can replace six in 2018 which would bring us down to needing seventeen," said Thorne.

Staff / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board has completed the hire of an Interim Director.

Former Chief Operating Officer Isaac Thorne will take over for Andrew Johnson until a permanent replacement can be chosen.

Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit

Bloomington-Normal's bus system has named an interim General Manager by promoting from within.

Chief Operating Officer Isaac Thorne will take over for General Manager Andrew Johnson. Johnson is leaving for a new job with the bus system in Champaign-Urbana.

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