Transportation | WGLT

Transportation

J.P. Mueller / Creative Commons

The Mayor of Normal is giving Congressional testimony on the merits of high speed rail.

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.

Connect Transit Announces Fee Restructure

Jun 29, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

People in Bloomington are reacting to fee changes proposed by Connect Transit. Under the plan, fixed route fares for one way riders, people with disabilities and senior citizens would remain the same along with one way fares for the Connect Mobility door-to-door service.

Staff

A six-month pilot project that will test limited bus service in northern Normal and southwestern Bloomington was approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The plan is to provide morning and afternoon service in those areas beginning in mid-August. Those areas would have been cut off by the route restructure slated for the fall.

Creative Commons

Some $2 billion in road construction projects will be shut down July 1 in Illinois without a state budget agreement. An Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that collectively work on the 19 largest projects is less than halfway done in terms of money spent.

Uber / Flickr

A Chicago City Council committee has advanced plans to increase regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.  

The proposal requires similar regulations on Uber and Lyft drivers as taxi drivers, including fingerprinting as part of a criminal background check. Drug tests and city debt checks would also be required.  

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Uber and Lyft officials have opposed the proposed regulations. The companies argue it'll cut into the number of drivers available. There are approximately 90,000 registered Uber and Lyft Drivers in Chicago.  

Michael Hill / WGLT

Connect Transit is asking for feedback on a proposal that would provide limited service to people that will be cut off when new routes and schedules are put in place this August. The plan would provide morning and afternoon service during peak times in northern Normal and southwestern Bloomington.

Flickr

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to spend about $2 billion on roads projects for the next fiscal year that starts July 1, if there's a budget. But, the lack of a deal could kill the construction season. That's what business leaders, contractors, laborers and other members of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition say.

Co-chair Todd Maisch, who's also CEO of the state Chamber of Commerce, says no spending on roads this summer would cause construction firms to close, or layoff workers. He says it's critical to have a budget deal by the end of the month.

Staff / WGLT

Some drivers might think a street with curbs, a center line, and plenty of room for traffic is a complete street. But a specific policy adopted by more 730 agencies across the U.S. involves much more.

Both Bloomington and Normal could have such a policy in place this summer that would change how the two communities view a street's uses and users.

Summer Slevin

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip and for one Illinois State University alum, it's time to shine with her name. You might remember GLT covering Summer Slevin's road trip across the U.S. last year, but she leaves for her second trip this Sunday.

Her last journey covering 21 states and 10 national parks was focused on nature and meeting new people. This time, she is hitting the road for a completely different reason.

James Nevin

A former track physician at the Indianapolis 500 race said drivers get the very best care possible in the event of crashes. In spite of 230 mile per hour speeds, Advocate BroMenn Vice President of Medical Management Jim Nevin said having board certified emergency physicians at track side and ambulances ready to roll mean there is a significant response advantage that people in ordinary car crashes don't have.

Marci Pritts

Jeff and Marci Pritts will spend the next year with their family in an RV they've named "Someday."

"There's one overwhelming response I think that we get and we have  kind of brought that into our trip a little bit," said Marci. "People often say 'I'd love to do that someday.' For that reason we named the RV 'Someday.' It's kind of a statement that that today can be someday. Just do it."

Creative Commons

The Illinois Secretary of State's office says a plan to issue driver's licenses and state identification cards in Illinois that are more secure won't require additional state funding. 

Michael Gorman

Elena Studier arrived at the 3rd floor WGLT studios by bike, rolling it off the elevator and down the hall.  Not surprising since she's using her bike to explore communities located along passenger rail corridors across the country.

Richard Ericksson / Flickr

Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that the state's pedestrian fatalities increased by 18 percent in 2015.  

There were 150 pedestrian deaths in 2015, compared with 127 in 2014.  Federal data indicates that pedestrian deaths are on the rise nationwide, with almost 4,900 killed in 2014, the highest number since 2005.

Ralph Weisheit

The head of the company that just took the Mitsubishi plant in Normal off the automaker's hands says they will start liquidating the equipment in two or three months if they do not find a buyer for the plant.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The head of the Mitsubishi Auto plant in Normal said this has been his most difficult year of more than four decades in the auto industry. The company laid off most of its workforce last year and the final hundred plus workers at the facility will lose their jobs at the end of the month.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Mitsubishi Motors North America has sold its plant in Normal to an industrial reclamation firm.

Maynards Industries is a Detroit-based company that will take possession of the plant in June.

Mitsubishi says it does not know Maynards' plans for the site and equipment, but are aware they are in discussions with various parties.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Bloomington says the city's commitment to infrastructure will soon become visible. Street repairs have been an ongoing problem for years. But, Tari Renner said council approval of ten million dollars in the new budget will make a difference.

License Plate Windfall To End

Apr 13, 2016
Adle Mand / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois House has passed a measure to suspend fines for drivers who are late renewing their vehicle license plates until the state can continue mailing reminders.

Staff

The Bloomington City Council has adopted a $207 million dollar proposed balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Aldermen Kevin Lower and Jim Fruin voted no. Lower said his opposition came because of a lack of reductions in “socialized entertainment venues.” Lower said he believed the venues should be paid for by the people actually using those services, not the city.

Nora Dukowitz / City of Bloomington

A $207 million balanced budget for the next year is under consideration by the Bloomington City Council tonight. The proposal includes additional revenue from a sales tax passed last year and includes more spending for the city’s infrastructure.

Connect Transit Updates Payment Options

Apr 7, 2016
Staff

Beginning in June, Connect Transit riders will use new electronic fare boxes when boarding a bus.

Customers will be able to pay for rides with a magnetic strip card. Riders can also continue to use Connect Transit issued passes or cash. Bus tokens will be phased out beginning in May and no longer accepted after June 3rd.

Monthly 'Fast Passes' already purchased will work until June and any remaining credit can be transferred to a new mag-strip card after June.

Normal Council To Hear Connect Transit Changes

Apr 4, 2016
Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit

Connect Transit will present proposed bus system changes in the Twin Cities to the Normal Town Council tonight. Council members will not be asked to approve the changes brought forward by the analysis at the meeting. The Transit Board will look more closely at the proposal at their meeting next month, with the final changes slated to begin in August. 

Peoria County Sheriff's Office

Baggage at the Peoria's airport originally thought to contain a bomb turned out to be a training device used at Planned Parenthood clinics. 

Attorney Explains Bicycle Laws, Insurance

Mar 15, 2016
Arturo Satilla / Flickr via Creative Commons

A bicycle lawyer is addressing the Bike BloNo meeting March 16th. Brendan Kevenides is partner in a Chicago firm that specializes in the legal needs of cyclists.

CIRA

American Airlines new flight from and to Dallas - Ft. Worth has begun service from Bloomington.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport says the non-stop flight joined two other flights on American to north Texas. It also links to a hub with more than 200 destinations in 26 countries.

The light will have a regular daily schedule arriving in Bloomington at 12:09 p.m. and then departing from Bloomington at 1:05 p.m. and arriving in Dallas at 3:24 p.m.
 

Decatur Hikes Gas Tax

Feb 18, 2016
Gas station terminal
Tysto / Flickr via Creative Commons

Motorists in Decatur will pay more at the pump after the City Council approved a new gas tax to help fund road improvements. The council voted Tuesday to impose the local tax beginning April 1. The tax is 5 cents per gallon for unleaded gasoline and 1 cent per gallon for diesel. It will expire in 10 years unless the council votes to extend it. Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe says the city ``got to fix our streets.'' She says she hopes the funds will help create jobs for local people who work in road construction and repair.

Brad Basham Photography/www.bbasham.com

The Town of Normal is taking steps to build a temporary, level railroad crossing to allow Amtrak passengers to use a second platform, which will available when the state begins using high speed trains within the next year. The Town Council originally looked at building an overpass, or bridge, to allow passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists to cross the tracks as part of Constitution Trail, but that was put on hold when an underpass was proposed

Ben Larcey / Urbanwheel

Illinois State University says hover boards are too much of a fire risk. Eric Jome is the Director of ISU Media Relations. Hover boards are battery-operated, self-balancing scooters. Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Brent Paterson says that there have been a numerous cases of hover boards overheating and catching fire while charging.

National Mayors' Association Focuses On Transportation

Jan 21, 2016
Ralph Weisheit

The nation's Mayors are getting a look at the new transportation bill and what's in it for them. WGLT's Hanna Gutmann reports from the national meeting in Washington that Normal Mayor Chris Koos says the biggest problem is the new bill still has an old funding mechanism and priorities.

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