Proposed Connect Transit fare hikes and route eliminations prompted months of outcry from riders. So government officials from both Bloomington and Normal are getting involved to try to help find some solutions.
Low income riders along with those dealing with disabilities have been the most vocal about the proposed changes. A committee called the, Connect to the Future Work Group, was created to go back to the drawing board and at Monday’s City Council meeting an outline was presented to the Bloomington City Council by the City Manager.
The group is examining whether fare hikes are truly necessary and seeking out other options for elderly riders and those with disabilities. If they decide the increase in fares is justified, there hasn’t been an increase in 12 years, Bloomington agreed to explore ways to offset that cost so it doesn’t get passed on to the rider.
They also asked the group to further research a reserve fund to pick up elderly and disabled riders in bad weather.
The council tasked that group with returning with a final presentation by December 1st. That would potentially stall the projected October 1st fare hikes.
“Really I think what we’re asking for is just the time for the working group to be able to dive deeper into the complaints that are relatively new and they outcome is going to be better for the community.” said City Manager Tim Gleason
As for the future of the Olive Route, the Connect Transit General Manager said their board will consider adding some of the stops to the pink route. That change is expected to start July 1st. Adding the addition stop isn’t expected to cost any more money. The Transit Board will decide on that Tuesday 6/25 at 4:30.